Commissioners include representatives from YETI®, Yamaha Marine, BoatU.S., B.A.S.S., the American Sportfishing Association, National Marine Manufacturing Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Members of the $689-billion outdoor recreation industry have established a blue-ribbon commission to stop and reverse the spread of aquatic invasive species in the U.S. The commission will convene leading biologists, environmentalists, policymakers, and resource managers to assess existing mitigation efforts and identify more effective eradication solutions. Findings from the analysis will be presented to Congress and the administration in 2023, with a goal of passing comprehensive legislation to better manage and eliminate aquatic invasive species.
The commission will meet for the first time next week at ICAST.
Aquatic invasive species are spreading at levels that are unsustainable for the waterways where they have been introduced, posing a growing threat to aquatic ecosystems, local economies, and outdoor recreation opportunities across the country. Currently, the cost to control and eradicate these invasives in the U.S. amounts to more than $100 billion each year. For decades, a patchwork of federal and state initiatives has failed to address this crisis.
“Aquatic invasive species pose a national threat to both habitat and fishing and boating access, but it is possible to put more effective policies and mitigation efforts in place,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “We’ve shown time and time again that when our community convenes around a common threat, listens to the science, and makes thoughtful recommendations, we can successfully shift conservation policy. The TRCP is proud to participate in the commission’s work and future advocacy to see recommendations through.”
“In central and southern states, invasive silver carp frustrate anglers and state and federal resource managers,” says Ben Speciale, president of the U.S. Marine Business Unit at Yamaha. “But silver carp represent just a fraction of the invasive species problem in our nation. For every region, state, coast, and body of water, there is a similar pressing issue. We need a different, national approach to solving the aquatic invasive species problem. Yamaha supports this effort, because we believe the commission’s recommendations to Congress and the administration will help combat the AIS situation and help to allocate the resources needed to meet this challenge.”
“BoatU.S. has long worked to educate boaters on the impacts of invasive species and how boaters can better protect our waterways,” says Chris Edmonston, president of the BoatU.S. Foundation. “We look forward to working with industry and government agencies to come up with commonsense solutions that protect and enhance America’s waters.”
“The Aquatic Invasive Species Commission, spearhead by some of the biggest names in outdoor recreation and conservation, will be at the forefront of working alongside the administration and Congress to stop and reverse the spread of aquatic invasive species, which threaten recreational boating and fishing access, local economies, and aquatic ecosystems,” says Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “As the nation’s original conservationists, our industry looks forward to the commission’s findings and implementing more effective practices to eradicate AIS.”
“As the number and scale of aquatic invasive species grows, it’s clear that continuing with status quo isn’t going to solve the problem,” says Mike Leonard, vice president of government affairs for the American Sportfishing Association. “On behalf of the recreational fishing industry, which depends on healthy aquatic ecosystems, ASA is excited to be a part of the Aquatic Invasive Species Commission. While faced with a daunting task, I’m confident the experts that comprise the commission will help put us on a path toward better response, control, and eradication of aquatic invasive species.”
Members of the Blue-Ribbon Aquatic Invasive Species Commission:
John Arway, Retired State Director
Elizabeth Brown, North American Invasive Species Management Association
Jason Christie, Pro Angler
George Cooper, Forbes-Tate
Clay Crabtree, National Marine Manufacturing Association
Devin Demario, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Jake Dree, YETI
Chris Edmonston, BoatU.S.
Marc Gaden, Great Lakes Fishery Commission
Gene Gilliland, B.A.S.S.
Heather Hennessey, Yamaha
Alanna Keating, BoatU.S.
Mike Leonard, American Sportfishing Association
Chris Macaluso, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Mark Menendez, Pro Angler
Ish Monroe, Pro Angler
Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited
John O’Keefe, Yamaha
Martin Peters, Yamaha
Stephen Phillips, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
Christy Plumer, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Ann Rogers Harrison, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Jennifer Silberman, YETI
Mathew Van Daele, Sun’aq Tribe
Nick Wiley, Ducks Unlimited
Drue Winters, American Fisheries Society
Dennis Zabaglo, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Top photo by Todd Davis/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
3 Responses to “New Commission Will Work to Control Aquatic Invasive Species”
I have concluded with the problems of Axis deer, feral hogs, the ungodly carp and all its subspecies, the non-native aquatic weeds, the now glorification of the snakehead, the goby, and many more uncalculable non-natives species, be they mammal, fish, bird, starting somewhere, anywhere, is needed, to rid this nation of unwanted and not needed , no matter how smal or big, just do it!!!
We are targeting Asian Carp and common carp with commercial fishing. We formed a co-op and have harvested over 10,000,000 pounds in the last couple years. The areas we target are looking really good with native fish populations. It’s very hard work and most of the guys are 50 to 70 years old. We have to build our own coolers and chill the fish to be able to sell them. We also mostly use 150 hp Yamaha outboard motors and lose lower units quite often. These things are financially burdensome to the fisherman. Maybe you could pass this along to some of your partners. I will be more than happy to take you out fishing with us and show you the improvements.
For nearly 3 decades we have been battling the Asian carp invasion with little to no success and billions of dollars spent. As I write they now infested the water of every tributary and sub basin of the Mississippi River. The most effective tool currently at the ready is commercial harvest, processing and marketing of this natural resource (although unintended) and to use them for every available purpose and fact is there are many. No barrier is 100% effective, hence the important of commercial harvest. If we reduce to the numbers of Asian carp in states to the south of the Great Lakes, this reduces the pressure on barrier and limits the potential for new populations to spawn downstream. Therefore, every state in the continental United States needs to be following the same game plan. If we don’t use them now the invasion will never be stopped. Less spending dollars and time on redundant research and believe me I say there is copious amounts of that currently ongoing.