The Invasive Species Conundrum

As we all are generally aware of, the conundrum associated with invasive species is intricate, problematic and devastating to native species. According to the National Wildlife Federation, invasive species account for 42% of threatened and endangered species. They are introduced to foreign environments in a plethora of methodologies such as buoyant waters, tides and the illegal trading of animals. Once displaced, invasive species deteriorate the ordered structure of the current ecosystem and turn it into disarray. They disassemble food chains by preying on certain species that create domino changes in the populations of animals above and below the food chain. In the Great Lakes, for example, the Asian Carp has invaded the Great Lakes and have negatively impacted Great Lake ecosystems. Asian Carps are prolific in that they can grow up to 100 pounds and lay up to one million eggs. They are a major threat because they prey upon native species such as walleye, yellow perch, and silver carp. Such unexpected decrease in these populations is impacting our economy as it is resulting in diminished recreational and commercial fishing. Also, interestingly enough, Asian Carps are ginormous enough to injure boat crafts and boaters when they jump out of the water. There are several preventive measure in place such as implementing electric barriers and altering carbon dioxide concentrations in the lakes but no sustainable solution has propagated itself.

        Asian Carps in the Great Lakes.

       Asian Carps in the Great Lakes.

In Florida, they are dealing with an inherent invasive species epidemic of their own as the Lionfish has reckoned itself as a top predator. With its unrivaled supremacy, this nomadic species has widened its territory from the East Coast to the Caribbean. The Lionfish is absolutely devastating for local ecosystems as they can reduce native populations by 90% within weeks of arrival. Analogous to the Asian Carps, Lionfish females are capable are able to release a vast amount of eggs, 2 million in fact. The way in which Floridians are combating this issue is rather peculiar in the least. “Lionfish Derbies” have been established to capture Lionfish and are being served for dinner. Whether in the form of a sushi roll, with spicy mayo of course, or seared with spicy seasoning, the Lionfish are essentially getting a taste of their own medicine.

 Scrumptious?

Scrumptious?

Is this form of population control ethical, creative, or straight out crazy? Please leave comments below along with your thoughts or concerns about the invasive species epidemic. 

References:
Monks, Kieron. "The Animals You Should Eat to Protect the Environment." CNN, 18 Nov. 2015. Web.

"Invasive Species." National Wildlife Federation, n.d. Web.

Noys, Benjamin. Malign Velocities: Accelerationism & Capitalism. Winchester, UK: Zero, 2014. 51-52. Print.

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