Unit 4: “Fish Out of Water” Reading Response

Get the discussion on this article started by posting your reading response here. Please remember that you will need to post your response and then read other students' responses and post  a reply.

Is it ethical to kill off an invasive species, just to preserve the longevity  of a indigenous species? Is there an moral question to address here?  Isn't this just the natural cycle of evolution (one species overpowers the next)?  Also, feel free to bring up any other points you found interesting.

Write your in a comment to this page.

37 thoughts on “Unit 4: “Fish Out of Water” Reading Response

  1. Matthew Wetherington

    In this reading, Ian Frazier brings us up to date on a very pressing scientific problem, invasive species. These two being the Bighead, and Silver carp. Though the age old question has been brought up here, do we fight hard to preserve the indigenous species, or do we sit back and let the invasion commence? Well to start off, I am a strong advocate of preserving indigenous species; even to the point of killing off an invasive species, and I am going to list a few reasons why I believe it is good to protect these original species. So the first reason is largely moral, and even a little religious, I strongly believe God put us on the earth for many reasons, but one was to be shepherds to all animals, and maintain an order in their populations blocking off certain species from becoming the one species. Now the second reason is, it preserves and protects, a tradition and outdoor activity of fishing in America that has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Thirdly, if we do allow this species to take over, it will drastically change the environment they dwell in, possibly even damaging it by over-consumption of natural resources. So, these are just a handful of reasons I think we need to keep all fish types in balance, if bass started to get out of control, I would help control their numbers too. No, I don’t believe this is the natural cycle of evolution, as in that mindset, this supposed replacement would be dominating the former one, because it has superior qualities. The carp in this case are simply destructive, and have found an environment were their destruction can reach its full potential. My major take aways from this article were, I loved how it used personal, and impersonal stories to go deeper in this subject of the invasion; all the while keeping us informed on the serious matters like the CARP ACT. I also am now more informed about how I can get engaged with this problem, and what I can do to learn more. In conclusion, I enjoyed this read, it made me use my brain to think of solutions, and prompted me to take action, while not being just another boring public service announcement.

    1. Cassandra Lane

      The reasoning behind why you think carp should be eliminated was interesting. I never thought about the religious aspects of it. The one thing I have a problem with dealing with an invasive species is to kill them just to kill them. I cannot take an animals life if I won’t put it to use. My family hunts and fishes. We hunt moose and bear and caribou to feed our families. The carp, for now, can at least be used as a food source. Maybe this could also be used as a way to feed those that are homeless in our nation? It would not be a real money maker but it would help with a larger issue in our country. There are many people who go hungry daily so this could help diminish the carp population and feed our country at the same time.

  2. Angelina Lund

    After watching the video and reading this essay, I can see how the carp are a neusense. I have to be honest that I was born in raised in Alaska but have never been fishing. I am not much of an outdoor girl. I dont think it is necessarily ethical to kill off the invasive species but maybe find a way to co-habitate with them. In this case though I am not sure that can happen. They are injuring the fishermen that go out on these lakes and make a living supplying us with fish to eat. I find it interesting how this species of fish can raise so much havoc that we will go as far as thinking about a complete seperation or reseperation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi at Chicago ( Page #110). Another question I have is if the carp have been in this area since the 1970’s, why are we just recently having an issue with them. I am not too sure that there is an answer but I do believe for the fisherman to make a living, something does need to be done.
    I found this reading interesting in that it brings to light an issue that a lot of us might not have been aware of and an issue that needs to be settled for life as the fishermen the Great Lakes area to be lived as they have known it.

    1. Janelle

      I would have to agree on your point that the fisherman are out there doing their jobs to make a living and are disrupted by this invasive species. As you pointed out, these fish have been around since the 1970’s and this issue is now started to come an issue. That means that there had to have been a mistake somewhere or an issue that wasn’t supposed to happen. How can these fish be controlled all the way up till now? This gives some reasoning as to why these fish need to be controlled.

    2. Matthew Wetherington

      To answer you question about them being there since the 70’s. To my understanding of the reading, the were there but only in localized ponds, and lakes where numbers could be controlled very well. It was several natural disasters that brought them into the river, biologists were also putting up counter measures to control the populations from moving. However, these counter measures failed to stop the carp.

  3. Emily Nerbonne

    “I remember when this water had no Asian carp, and you could go frog gigging with a flashlight and a trolling motor on a summer night. The way these fish attack, that’s impossible to now. We just finished our tournament, and the carp are jumping more out there than they ever were. I want everybody to know: these fish need to be gone.” (Pg. #104)
    When I started reading this essay, I didn’t know how invasive and destructive Asian carp is. From the very beginning, I thought that this would be a humerous essay about fish that can jump out of the water, not an essay about how there is an evasive species that has been taking up the waterways of America. Then on page 106, you start to realize just how much of serious problem they are. It’s crazy to think that a bunch of fish could cause such a raucous from politicians about invasive species, but this essay really lays out the reasons behind their fright of invasion of Asian carp. The passage above also brings to your mind of how much change these fish have caused. The two carp fish, Silver and Bighead carp, have changed lives along the Mississippi River all the way up to the Great Lakes. They have changed how people live, and they continue to change the waterways of America.
    Should we completely kill off the invasive species? I believe that we shouldn’t completely kill off the species. Each species was created for a purpose. Though, there is no harm in downsizing the species and making it a manageable population. Laws and regulations could be changed to keep the carp populations in a reasonable range. But we don’t need to kill them all off the solve the problem. We just need to keep them down in number. I don’t believe there is a moral question to address in this problem. These fish are taking over and causing harm to the environment; these fish are costing humanity. The carp aren’t letting evolution run its course either. They aren’t overpowering the other species by their greater beings. The fish are destroying the environment of the other fish. They are creating havoc for the way things have always been. They aren’t overpowering; they are overpopulating and overtaking the waterways of the Mississippi and almost the Great Lakes. The carps don’t have to be killed off, but they do need to be dealt with and managed properly for the indigenous species to thrive along side them. They need to be kept under control for things to not get out of hand.

  4. Cassandra Lane

    I thought that this week’s read was interesting this week. I never knew this about the carp and I guarantee that with the readings every week, I will be learning something new about a variety of species. The creative ways that citizens are going about trying to subdue this invasive species was interesting. The most fascinating one that I found was the woman, Betty DeFord who started the Redneck Fishing Tournament in the town of Bath, Illinois. I liked how he described the event so that I could almost imagine that I was actually there seeing the event take place.
    As for if it is ethical or not to kill off an invasive species, I do think that it is ethical. If an invasive species comes in and is eating all of the food leaving none for the indigenous species, it can cause that indigenous species to die off which can have a nasty chain of events. The species that ate the one that died off will no longer have its food source continuing on down the line potentially killing off multiple species. I don’t think it’s really much of a question of morals. It is a new food source, however, and can be used as such. I think that if they continue to fish for this species and use it as a food source instead of wasting it by just trying to kill off all of them at once that there shouldn’t be an issue.
    No, it is not just the natural cycle of evolution because they were not even introduced into the United States in a natural way. If they managed to find their way to the United States on their own, then yes, but they did not. They were brought to the United States. “Down South, they were worker fish, imported to clean up enclosed areas by eating algae (Frazier, 97).” Flood waters caused them to be set free in the waters of the United States.

    1. Amanda Carr

      Cassandra I also really enjoyed how Betty DeFord is trying to make a difference with the Redneck Fishing Tournament, such a clever and fun way to make a difference… even if it does seem a bit rude and crude. She saw something that she wanted to change, and is doing just that.

    2. Matthew Wetherington

      I find myself agreeing with you quite well. I may have not made that too clear, but we should try to make use of these dead fish while eradicating them.

  5. Angelica Kougl

    When I began to read this essay, I thought it was going to be yet another story on how funny these “flying fish” are. I had seen this phenomenon on television and on social media, and after seeing both I did not realize that Asian carp were an invasive species. But this article informed me about how this phenomenon is not so humorous. Professor Lodge talks about the carp saying that “It’s a tragic thing, and people are wrong to trivialize it” (108). I completely agree with Lodge. These Asian carp will have a hugely negative impact on both the environment and that economy in the surrounding areas they have invaded. He also explains how he believes as a country “we’re constantly reacting after it’s too late. Most invasions, if detected early, can be stopped” (109). It is clear to me after reading this essay that prevention is of the highest importance regarding invasive species, but unfortunately we may be too late to stop further invasion by the asian carp, as Lodge suggested. There is question to whether or not it is ethical to kill off the invasive species to protect the indigenous species. My personal values and beliefs tell me that taking a modest approach would be ideal; after all, it is not 100% guaranteed that this invasion will cause our economy to fail. However, I think many are worried that an aggressive approach is the only solution to ensure that we don’t risk destroying the lives of both indigenous aquatic species and the lives of those who make a living off of those species. In other words, many do not want to wait and see if this invasion will prove to be disastrous. Honestly, I cannot say I entirely disagree that we might regret not killing the Asian carp off. It is a tough decision, but I think it may be the right decision to get rid of the carp in order to preserve the safety of indigenous species and humans alike.

    1. Emily J. Nerbonne

      Me too! When I watched the video, I found it humorous that the fish were just jumping out of the water and that the fishermen were “catching” their fish by the fish jumping in the boat. I have also seen other sources making fun out of the carp. Then, when you read the essay, you realize the seriousness of the situation between the invasive Asian carp and the other indigenous species. The effect that these fish have on the environment and the waterways of the U.S. is a very unfortunate situation. It bring to the light the need for action to take place for these species to be dealt with so that the indigenous species don’t die out.

  6. Amanda Carr

    After reading “A Fish Out of Water” by Ian Frazier, I felt a bit depressed. A quote from his article that really pulled at my heart string’s and summed up my frustration was something Professor David Lodge said, “The bigger issue is how we as a country protect ourselves from invasive species. At the moment, we are not very good at preventing invasions. We’re constantly reacting after it’s too late. Most invasions, if detected early, can be stopped”.
    This quote was hard to accept, because history is telling us that we are making the choice to procrastinate until it is, too late.
    But right after I reading Professor Lodge’s comment, I was given a little bit of hope from what his colleague Christopher Jerde said “ I don’t know whether we can stop these fish, but if we do nothing I guarantee this problem and plenty of others will get worse.” You can look at this comment under two different lights… the half glass full or the glass half empty metaphor. I am choosing to go with the glass half full, we can make a difference if we make the choice. If something is threatening the world or our species I am going to have to go with the opinion of yes… I do think it is acceptable to kill off an invasive species. As long as humans are trying to do “the right thing” or the “best that we can do”, there is not much else we can do.
    If this is the “natural cycle of evolution (one species overpowers the next)” then soon humans will be the only ones left on this planet. At times it seems as though we are fine living in a world where, humans have done and will continue doing what ever we want until there is nothing left but… dirt, water and our garbage. Maybe we are more like the Asian carp then we would like to believe?
    BUT even though we may be a lot like the Asian carp the difference between the two of us, I am guessing that humans probably have more of a conscience then fish. Instead of waiting until it is too late and then trying to fix the problem we can make a choice and try to “do the right thing”.

    There is also one more point I would like to bring up…
    I thought it was very clever how Ian Frazier tied one of Abraham Lincoln’s campaigning speeches into his article.
    Abraham’s famous “A house divided speech”… “A house divided against itself can not stand.” This is what needs to happen if we want to make any kind of changes for a better future.

  7. Janelle

    I think it is very interesting that these Asian carps have taken over the Illinois River, even more interesting that there Asian carps have oversized and are leaping out of the water. The clip of the men on the boat just having a ball driving through all these jumping carps is an obvious alert that this species is indeed invading the waters of Chicago. Its not always that we are informed by these invasions in an obvious way such as these Asian Carps. As Frazier states in his article; “We’re constantly reacting after it’s too late. Most invasions, If detected early can be stopped, because establishing an organism so it’s viable in a new environment is not automatic.” I really like this point because it is so true. Yes there is mother nature that is supposed to control everything that goes on in the environment but I strongly believe that humans are responsible for maintaining and controlling the environment. This includes killing off invasive species if such a problem arises. If this problem is not taken care of the Asian carp may alter the environment so much as to have an impact on the habitat and give no room for the natural species to thrive. The natural cycle of evolution is correct to a certain point and this was a great example of where humanity needs to step in and take control.

    1. Tarean Allen

      I agree. The fact that the research was completed and the ones in charge did not take many actions to prevent thier invasion. The Illionis river is getting more shallow every year just from the crop silt, then to have the “electric barriers” meant to preserve the Great Lakes’ fishing population fail because of flooding is diappointing. I hate to think that a proposal to erradicate the carp was presented and wasn’t put into action because it is too close to a golf club.

    2. Jessica Mathews

      Wow Janelle, great response touch base on all the topics I couldn’t agree more with! I love how you tied in the video as well! The video was def something to see, not something I have ever seen before rather interesting and kind of funny to someone that doesn’t see or deal with this on a regular basis! I agree with you with such a problem there will be no room for native species to grow, there fore the invasive species shall be killed off, what they have been doing just doesn’t seem to be enough! Keep up the great work!

  8. Tarean Allen

    Being natively from Illinois I found this read and video rather interesting. I do think it is necessary to kill of the invasive species, when they are not benefiting the environment. The carp are not native and the essay suggests that people have released them into the wild during traditional ceremonies. This not being the fish’s native area; they are throwing the water ecosystem off. It is to the extent that they are effecting other fish population. Those that are not concerned about the carp, need to think about the variety of fish available. Fish that are native to the region supply balance for other animals and the preservation on the waterways. It is also dangerous to even travel the river via motor boat when you have fish flying at you. If you were to think of it in terms of your body, introducing a foreign pathogen and it takes over. That’s how I see the invasion of the carp. I don’t consider this a natural process of evolution, it was not brought about naturally. It is not safe for the fisherman and tourist to get out on the water. I also find it ironic that Big River Fishing Corp. catch and sell the Asian carp to Beijing Zhouchen Animal Husbandry Company.

    1. Emily J. Nerbonne

      I really like how you pointed out that the Asian carp aren’t native to the waterways of the U.S. While reading the essay, the part where they mentioned that the Asian carp were introduced to the Mississippi River, because they wanted to help clean it up, stuck out to me. They brought a foreign species in and now they have to deal with the problem of the native species dying off or not. I don’t think they really thought about the aftereffects of bringing that new fish into the waterways. They saw the short term benefits, cleaning up the river, but they didn’t foresee the long term cost, having an overpopulation of Asian carp.

      1. Kristopher Dunkle

        That does seem to be a common thread with invasive species. It doesn’t help that too often the people responsible for introducing and managing them aren’t the ones that have to bear the full cost. Maybe if they were, they’d take better care to avoid it.

        1. Brooke Mattice

          I agree with your statement completely. I think that the species were natural then let them do what they are going to do. I though the angle you took on “introducing a forgone patten into your body” was very interesting.

    2. Roger Vang

      I also believe that killing off the invasive species is okay if they are not benefiting the habitat. Many invasive species may cause detrimental damage to its new environment, but some species are beneficial. Did you know that honeybees are non-native to North America? Let’s thank the English for bringing honeybees to the Americas in the 1600’s. They helped us pollinate many of our crops and produce delicious honey. Unfortunately, they are an invasive species that has a reducing population, possibly causing a negative impact on our ecosystem.

      Source: https://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/agcomm/newscolumns/archives/OSL/1999/November/111199OSL.html

    3. virginia blake

      I am not a native from the area but I did live in Missouri for quite some time. I was able to experience this adventure of the carps! I definitely agree that it would be okay to kill of the species. However, in my opinion I think attention should have been brought on much sooner and I just don’t think we could get rid of all of them. I’m not a biology major so I don’t have any idea how that would even work but if we are already selling them to the Chinese and there is still lots more not sure how it would be done.

  9. Jessica Mathews

    Is it ethical to kill off an invasive species, just to preserve the longevity of a indigenous species? Is there an moral question to address here? Isn’t this just the natural cycle of evolution (one species overpowers the next)? Also, feel free to bring up any other points you found interesting.

    After reading the story “Fish out of Water” by Ian Frazier, I was really thinking about this problem that the state of Illinois has with the Carps. I tried to imagine being in this situation, don’t think I could handle it. My husband and I LOVE fishing and that just does not seem enjoyable to me to be on a boat wondering and stressing the next fish to fly up and hit you. I think it is ethical to kill off an invasive species that is doing no good, rather contributing to harm. As the article states, leaves you with bruises, dirties the waters, and they are over taking the waters. The indigenous species is there for a reason and a purpose, with the invasive species there they are unable to perform properly. I would agree it is a natural cycle for one species to over come the next but in my opinion that would be with native species not ones that have been brought by time and time again. I found it extremely interesting that the town of Bath the annual fish tournament that took place to get rid of the carps, I love how they try to incorporate everyone, make it fun, and do good for the environment by removing the harmful fish! Another topic I found extremely interesting how they are selling the fish to Chinese, and they really out in perspective how many fish they were doing thousands of pounds at a time and said it didn’t even make a dent as well as the time frame in which they were caught!

  10. Kristopher Dunkle

    In thinking about the question of ethics and the objection about “the natural cycle of evolution” in this case, I had trouble finding an answer I was satisfied with because it always seemed to just lead to bigger ethical questions. Sure, in practical terms it’s obvious that these fish are doing much more harm than good in the US and so are probably worth the extra cost required to manage their numbers. Ethically, I see at least two problems with the “natural evolution” argument: firstly, that it’d be inconsistent to apply it here since the fish’s introduction to the US was not at all natural to begin with, and secondly, that the argument is built on the implicit premise that “natural -> good and/or right, unnatural -> bad.” If my philosophy class taught me anything, it’s that that premise is not solid; the way things -are- does not automatically tell you the way things morally -ought- to be.

    On the other hand, it seems like we simply value things like intricate, balanced ecosystems and biodiversity directly, not just because they’re “natural” or some other property. Which in a way answers the question that yes, there are ethics involved here. I just can’t come up with a truly satisfying explanation for them.

  11. Brooke Mattice

    In this essay and in the video we learn that there is an epidemic of Silver and Bighead carp. They are taking over rivers and making their way north. I think that it is important to preserve indigenous species. These fish were brought here from China. They are extremely invasive, and we need to act on this issue before they move any further.

    I do not believe that it morally right to just kill the species being an avid hunter and fisherman. There is a market for the fish overseas, however. We should continue to sell the carp to China. We need to go about catching them in the least invasive way possible to prevent any further damage to habitat for the indigenous species.

    The fact that we can resolve an issue, though it may take some time, and boost the local economy doing so seems like a very logical way to handle this situation. They need to amp up the size the production to reduce the population more quickly.

    I do not believe that this is a natural cycle of evolution. If it were a species that was indigenous or got there itself than I think that it would be. WE caused this issue. WE need to resolve it. I would say that if it were evolutionary than let the survival of the fittest happen. I think that this case is completely different because the carp were not suppose to be there EVER.

    I found the video very enjoyable to watch. I won’t lie, I did laugh multiple times. It almost looks fake. I have never seen so many “Fish Out of Water.” I think I will plan a trip to participate in the Redneck Fishing Derby in the near future. It would probably be extremely fun, and it’s a great cause

  12. Roger Vang

    I do not see killing off an invasive species as an issue when preserving the indigenous species. Animals, like the Asian carp, that can compete against the native animals cause a degradation of the natural habitat. Ian Frazier, in “Fish Out of Water,” talks about the possible outcomes of an Asian carp invasion in the Great Lakes. Asian carp grow fast and can easily over consume resources necessary for a variety of indigenous species, not only fish, which is why I advocate the killing of invasive species. Betty DeFord mentions, “I remember when this water had no Asian carp, and you could go frog gigging with a flashlight and a trolling motor on a summer night. The way these fish attack, that’s impossible now. (104)” If the population of Asian carp keeps rising, there could be a continued loss of multiple species that live in the waters of the Mississippi River and its connected lakes. Even the unregulated fishing of carp has not made a dent in their population. The issue with getting rid of the invasive species is that “We’re constantly reacting after it’s too late. Most invasions, if detected early, can be stopped, because establishing an organism so it’s viable in a new environment is not automatic. (109)” Introduce an invasive species to new surroundings is unnatural.

    1. Thomas Vorderbruggen

      I like the use of the Betty DeFord qoute. It illustrates that something truly precious has been lost, possibly to never return. It goes to show that these kinds of situations are more often much more serious than they are usually given credit for.

    2. Michael Williams

      Sometimes I agree that it is necessary to remove an invasive species, especially if it is doing more harm then good, but I don’t think that is always the case. Many times invasive species enter a new environment from natural processes such as eggs being carried on the feet of migratory birds, or seeds being spread by large storms. In such cases it still could be necessary to eliminate the invading species but often it can be a good thing and provide a rich new resource for an area that may not have had much too offer before.

  13. Thomas Vorderbruggen

    Reading Ian Frazier’s “Fish Out of Water” did raise quite a few questions. Do the invasive species have a right to live just as much as the indigenous species? Why is this only one case of many similar mistakes, given our long history of other invasive plants and animals overthrowing native ecosystems? What ought to be done?

    As this is a problem humanity has imposed upon itself, it is humanity’s responsibility to see that things are set right once again. Therefore I don’t see anything wrong with taking measures to try to exterminate the carp. Rather than destroying innocent creatures, it is more of “fixing a heavy mistake”. Although the loss of fishy life is regrettable, that is the cost of a mistake. And even though it is likely impossible to return that ecosystem to the way it once was, humanity still has a responsibility to try.

  14. virginia blake

    This was such an interesting topic! I lived in Missouri for some time and was able to experience this! The video looks like “awe or cool” but trust me I found zero interest in it. It truly was how you seen in the video. They flop everywhere and come from every direction. Trust me when they hit you — it hurts!!
    Obviously, with this said I think it would ethically be okay to get rid of Carps. I believe they are doing more harm than good. I mean we are already selling them to the Chinese to help get rid of the species. I believe it’s very unsafe for fishermen, tourist and the other fish. Even though this is my personal belief I believe it’s too late. I think not enough attention was brought to this sooner. In my opinion, I just don’t think it’s possible to get rid of all of them at this point. I could be wrong but I just don’t think it would happen. This definitely was not a natural cycle of evolution as they were brought to the United States. It’s not like these are fresh salmon and we are setting up fish camps for subsidy food for the year. I believe in today society these fish are just entertainment for tourist.

  15. Michael Williams

    I found this weeks reading to be highly interesting as this is a question I have long been asking. I am a firm believer in preserving the natural world, but the idea of preservation goes completely against the natural way of things. At no other time in the Earth’s history has one species been trying to save another the way human’s do with almost all other life forms. Invasive species in particular are a tricky subject because it is often a human caused problem so we feel responsible for fixing the issue. The Burmese Pythons taking over the everglades is an excellent example of this. The problem is that if we succeeded in all of our ventures to preserve everything exactly the way it is, then we will have in effect stopped the process of natural selection. The world we know and love only exists this way because of the constant change and adaptation that comes from the often times brutal process of natural selection. Who are we to decide what should be allowed it’s proper place at the top of the food chain and what should be allowed to go extinct?

    1. Hunter Young

      I agree with preservation but also it being kind of unnatural to happen. I work at a lake during the summer and it’s stocked, so the ratios of fish are predetermined which is so weird to me. They started actually putting less species into the lake each time they’ve been restocking it because of what people are trying to catch which I thought was super bizarre the first time I heard about it.

    2. Sara Church

      I do see where you are coming from. My problem is if its a human caused problem than we should fix it. If its a natural occurrence than I feel we should let nature take its course. With the problem with the Burmese Pythons is they never would of effected the everglades if it wasn’t for humans dumping there when they got to big to care for. Now this species is killing off many species of animals that are native to the area.

  16. Hunter Young

    I really thought this reading was really fascinating. I have actually seen a little bit of this video before, my dad showed it to me on Facebook. At the time, and still today, I find it very scary. While watching the video, I thought that these fish were native to this river, so I didn’t see that as an issue. It was the size of them and how violently they shot from the water and the way they bled really freaked me out.
    Learning about this problem was something I’d never really heard of before. I’m not big into water sciences in the field of fishery. I’ve never really fished so I’ve never really paid attention to this ecosystem. I was very surprised to figure out how much one species can affect somewhere. I guess when I usually think of fish, I think of the sport of fishing, so hearing that there are a lot of fish sounds kind of like a positive to me. Reading this, however, I realized that no … it’s not. The fact that it’s not only causing issues with what is in the water but also the people and life outside of the water really blew my mind.
    I thought that it was really cool to hear about the headway that the people of Illinois are trying to make on this issue. Frazier mentions how we as humans usually catch an invasion too late, which just of course means that the invasion ultimately takes its toll before it’s too late. He states, “The bigger issue is how we as a country protect ourselves against invasive species. At a moment, we are not very good at preventing invasion. We are constantly reacting too late,” (Frazier 109). This I think is interesting to read about the different solutions that citizens of Illinois have been coming up with. Reading about the huge sale to China and the different town that makes a sport of it shows (in my opinion) just how different people cope with issues. One part of the state did a professional and very one on one solution whereas another part made it a sport which made the issue inclusive but also spread awareness.
    All in all, this piece was super interesting. I learned something I never knew, which is why I’m really liking these readings a lot.

    1. Erin Dodds

      I do think it is interesting how the general population has reacted to the Asian carp dilemma. They seem to not exactly know what to do. i can’t say i thought it was cool, but most definitely interesting. Especially at the Redneck festival when they competed to catch carp and absolutely made no dent in the population. It really put things to scale for us.
      And i agree that I am not a fisher, and I am also not familiar with the map of the lower 48 so I had trouble wrapping my head around the details of the whole issue. It is definitely complicated and i just thank my stars that I am not one of the scientists studying the carp or I would lose it over the political mess that resulted over this issue.

  17. Sara Church

    As someone whose major is Natural Resource Management, I found this a very interesting article to read. I remember hearing about the fish that fly out of the water, but i never knew it was an invasive fish. This week’s questions “Is it ethical to kill off an invasive species, just to preserve the longevity of a indigenous species? Is there an moral question to address here? Isn’t this just the natural cycle of evolution (one species overpowers the next)?” has me in a small bind. This fish has devastated local fisheries already and it might all ready be in even more fisheries. My one problem with trying to completely eradicate this fish from the water ways is that it might be nigh impossible. With this fish already rooted in so many fisheries in North America now, we may never be able to fully remove every last fish. With the deal with China though it may help reach a close enough goal though.
    I personally would like to see this fish removed from the waters, but now it is creating an industry that may help us properly manage the fish. Which will create more jobs and raise awareness for other invasive animals.
    One animal species that many people forget that is the number one cause for extinction of many animals (not counting humans) is the common house cat. The house cat is not a native animal to North America and has caused the extinction of 33 different types of small birds. I have two cats of my own (one maincoon that likes to smother me in my sleep, and an all black cat that will throw herself at my feet to make me trip), and i could see the U.S trying to irradiate the feline population. This problem of invasive species is just going to come down to case by case. Hopefully we will catch any future problems early enough so we don’t get stuck with these moral and ethical questions.

  18. Erin Dodds

    I like how the author Ian Frazier immediately pointed out how the comedy element of the invasive species made people recognize and remember the issue of the Asian carp being an invasive species. It really tied in very well with our initial assignment, and also to Mary Roach’s introduction and theme of the book. Frazier also hit home quite strongly by making the audience connect the problem even closer to home, saying “the Mississippi River is us” and comparing the invasion to an incurable virus (97-98).
    Yet Asian carp seem to have their uses; they were initially used to clean up water bodies and just happened to escape with flooding. This usefulness also makes fishing for them a fruitless endeavor as they do not go for hooked bait. Although they are edible, the consequence the carp have on the environment seem to be much greater than the usefulness of the carp.
    Frazier also makes a strong, head-spinningly strong point of naming all of the groups associated with the changes made in regards to the carp regulations. He definitely makes his point about how complicated the bureaucratic side of law making can be, which also ties into how even the government knows the environment has such a large impact on economics. Which is probably actually the only reason the government is giving the issue such attention. Otherwise it may just be swept under the rug until it’s too late.
    So the average person’s opinion is weighed in several different areas that I didn’t think would matter. When people denied the DNA evidence that Notre Dame presented before the carp invasion, when policies were decided on to control the carp, and several other policies to do with carp. It is interesting because you would think the smart decision would be to listen to the scientists when they give advice about something they clearly are knowledgeable about, yet we often do not.
    As far as it being ethical to kill off a species, I believe it is only because we are trying to fix a problem we created. It would be another thing if the fish had migrated here naturally, but that is not the case. The Asian carp is destroying the ecosystem in several places in the US and we are trying to preserve not only our way of life as it is now, but that of the other indigenous species.

Comments are closed.