On May 4, 2018, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers announced five additions to the list of “least wanted” aquatic invasive species. In 2013, the Governors and Premiers released the first list of 16 “least wanted” aquatic invasive species (AIS) that present a serious threat to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin. Since then, the region’s eight states and two provinces have taken more than 40 actions to prohibit or restrict these high-risk species, including the Asian carp. The new “least wanted” AIS include:
- Tench Tinca tinca
- Marmorkreb (marbled crayfish) Procambarus fallax forma virginalis
- New Zealand mud snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum
- European frogbit Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
- Yellow floating heart Nymphoides peltata
State and provincial AIS and fisheries experts, in conjunction with leading regional researchers, identified these five AIS as posing a high risk of invasion or spread within the region. The Governors and Premiers will take aggressive action and work with regional partners to prevent the spread of these aquatic invaders.
AIS cost the U.S. and Canada billions of dollars in damages each year, are a burden on the economy, and strain state, provincial and federal budgets. They pose a threat to human health and cause immeasurable ecological damage to native species, with consequences for our region’s sport and commercial fisheries, tourism and recreation. More than 180 nonnative species have been introduced into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.