Judge: Asian carp are no immediate threat

Published online: Dec 14, 2010 News Trade Only Today
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A federal judge recently blocked a third attempt to close Chicago-area shipping locks, saying Asian carp do not appear to be an imminent threat and that closing the locks might not keep them from reaching Lake Michigan.

U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow said "the bottom line is that even giving every benefit of doubt ... plaintiffs cannot establish a showing of irreparable harm," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Michigan attorney general Mike Cox, who spearheaded the unsuccessful lock-closing effort in federal court and twice last year in the U.S. Supreme Court, said he will continue the fight.

"Our legal fight against Asian carp will continue, but President [Barack] Obama could stop the spread of Asian carp with the flick of a switch," Cox said. "Obama's persistent failure to stop Asian carp is a slap in the face to Great Lakes citizens genuinely concerned about preserving their livelihood."

A native of China with no known predators in this country, Asian carp have overwhelmed native fish populations by out-competing them for food, jeopardizing the Great Lakes' estimated $7 billion annual commercial and recreational fishing industry.

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