Environmental commissioner identifies need for more focus on invasive species

Oct. 17, 2013

SIMCOE – In the wake of two Asian carp being found near Dunnville, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett is calling on the government to follow Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Gord Miller’s recommendation to beef up the province’s invasive species’ strategic plan.

In 2012, the Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan was introduced by the government. Miller sees the potential for the plan to help reduce the introduction, spread and impacts of invasive species, but said without a plan for implementation and funding, it will be ineffective.

“Not to minimize the impact past invasive species had on the Great Lakes, but the Asian carp could make past invasives look like a walk in the park,” Barrett said. “Asian carp could devastate the multi-million-dollar commercial and recreational fishery in the Great Lakes.”

Barrett did give the government credit for being proactive on the Asian carp, but said a focus on Asian carp shouldn’t fall between the cracks during Ministry of Natural Resources restructuring. For instance, requiring all Asian carp entering the province for food to first be cleaned would not result in an additional cost to the province. Pushing American state governments to ban the possession of all Asian carp – even if the fish are sterile as was the case in the grass carp found nearDunnville – is another step Barrett would like to see.

“In the case of the establishment of many past invasive species, action by all levels of government was too little, too late,” Barrett said. “With the Asian carp, there is a real opportunity to keep it at bay. We need to focus on prevention. There is potential to stop Asian carp.”


For more information,
contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446