Wednesday, December 15, 2010

President Signs Asian Carp Prevention & Control Act

Dec 14: President Obama signed into law a bill authored by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), that will aid in the fight against the further spread of Asian carp in the United States. The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act, S.1421, will add the bighead carp species of Asian carp to a list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped in the United States under the Lacey Act [See WIMS 12/1/10]. The Senate approved the bill in November. Levin introduced the bipartisan bill in July 2009 with Senator George Voinovich (R-OH). Levin and Voinovich co-chair the Senate Great Lakes Task Force.

    Senator Levin said, "This law is an important step in the effort to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes," These fish pose a real, clear and growing threat to the Great Lakes and I will continue working to ensure tools like the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act and others will be available as we counter this threat. The devastating effects Asian carp could have on the Great Lakes are not fully known, and I want to make sure they are never realized."

    The Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act will list the bighead carp as injurious wildlife under the Lacey Act, which was originally passed by Congress in 1900 and amended in 1981. Listing the bighead species of Asian carp under the Lacey Act will help prevent the intentional introduction of the species by prohibiting the interstate transportation or importation of live Asian carp without a permit. Senator Levin indicated in a release that the legislation will not interfere with existing state regulations of Asian carp, and it will allow states to issue permits to transport or purchase live Asian carp for scientific, medical or educational purposes. The Fish and Wildlife Service has already listed other species of Asian carp as injurious under the Lacey Act.

    Access a release from Senator Levin (click here). Access legislative details on S.1421 (click here). Access more information on the Lacey Act from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (click here).