NANFA-- [Fwd: BOUNCE Message too long (>24000 chars)]

Frank O'Carroll (
Sun, 18 Jun 2000 10:34:37 +0900

This message bounced because it was too big (quoted too much)
I have cut out the quotes -- nanfa list admin.

[Fwd: BOUNCE Message too long (>24000 chars)]

-------- Original Message --------
To: <>
Subject: RE: NANFA-- Black carp
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 11:22:24 -0700
Message-ID: <000101bfd888$fbd73480$e09e0e3f_at_JaysHome.NWIFC>
In-Reply-To: <>

Here is the aquaculture industry's position (at least that of the Fish
Culture Section of the American Fisheries Society, from their May 2000

start AFS editorial

Black Carp: Another Black Eye for the Aquaculture Industry?
Anita M. Kelly

As reported in the last newsletter, catfish farmers in Mississippi have
experienced recent outbreaks of a trematode that has caused mortality in
fingerlings and resulted in unmarketable fillets of foodsize fish. The
intermediate hosts for this digenetic trematode are the white pelican and
the rams horn snail. Currently, there is no therapeutic treatment for
infected fish. Control of trematode infections is therefore dependent on
breaking the life cycle of the trematode. The only apparent treatment for
breaking the life cycle is by eliminating or at least reducing the presence
of the final or intermediate host.

The American white pelican, a common resident in the Mississippi Delta
region, is believed to be one of the intermediate hosts. While every effort
should be made to discourage feeding by pelicans on commercial catfish
operations, total bird control is impossible. Pelicans can be extremely
difficult to harass from a pond once a feeding pattern is established. It is
important to recognize that pelicans can establish nocturnal feeding
patterns as well. Consequently, the best approach to breaking the trematode
life cycle appears to be in reducing snail populations. This can be done by
using a combination of chemical treatments applied to the pond's margin, the
use of biological control species such as black carp, and aquatic weed

The recent outbreaks of the trematode in Mississippi catfish production
ponds resulted in the farmers utilizing both chemical and biological
controls, namely the black carp. The use of black carp in Mississippi has
stirred the water on the exotic species issue once again. Due to the timing
of the outbreaks, the number of certified triploid black carp fingerlings
needed were not available. Therefore, the Mississippi Department of
Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) released the following guidelines for
stocking black carp:
1) strongly recommend the use of triploid black carp
2) stock black carp that have
gone through the triploid process but have not been certified or sorted
3) stock diploid black carp until December 31, 2000, if triploid or triploid
processed fish cannot be found.
It is indeed the last criteria that has many agencies and private interest
groups upset. However, it is worth mentioning that those wishing to obtain
and have black carp on their farms, must have proven to MDAC that the fish
cannot escape. The farms are all inspected prior to permitting the facility.

I recently attended the Asian Carp Information, Management and Control
Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri. During this meeting both sides, those
opposing and those wanting to use black carp, were able to present their
respective views. Those opposing black carp introductions of any kind
presented the following arguments. First, the black carp was originally
introduced into the US in the 1970s as a contaminant in imported grass carp
stocks. Black carp and grass carp look very similar and most people can only
tell them apart by looking at the teeth. If they can be so easily
misdentified, then it is conceivable that they could be accidentally stocked
as grass carp. Second, since adult black carp feed almost exclusively on
mollusks they pose a threat to native mollusk populations if allowed to
escape to the wild. North America has the most diverse freshwater mollusk
populations in the world and the most endangered populations, with over 70%
in need of conservation. The black carp could also negatively effect the
fingernail clam populations which serve as the primary food source for
migratory waterfowl species in the Mississippi flyway. Third, the
international pearl industry is dependent on the shells of certain mollusk
species found in the Mississippi River basin. Pieces of their shells are
implanted into the oyster and serve as the nucleus for the pearl. Therefore
reductions in the mollusk populations would have national and international
significance. Finally, there is no current market for the black carp,
therefore they would not be a good aquaculture commodity.

Those in favor of having the option to use black carp gave the following
arguments: First, there is no known therapeutant for the trematode and
chemicals that control the snail populations are not FDA approved for use in
foodfish. So currently, the black carp is the only known method of complete
snail control for the trematode in question. While many argue that there are
native species such as the redear or shellcracker sunfish which are capable
of controlling snail populations, research has demonstrated that redear
sunfish do not adequately control snail populations in ponds. Redear avoid
snails with hard shells and their mouth gape size limits the size of snail
they can consume.
The black carp is the only fish species that is morphologically designed to
crush snails with hard shells and has an adequate gape size.
Second, the state of Mississippi produces 72% of all the farmed raised
catfish. It is currently the third largest commodity in the state. The
inability of the farmers to have a control for the trematode would have
devastating effects on the economy of one of the poorest states in the
nation. Third, there is currently a market for black carp. According to FAQ
statistics black carp are among the top 20 cultured fish in the world. While
it remains true that the current carp market is small in the US, it is on
the rise. Fourth, the trematode problem is not new to the industry. Black
carp have been used in the US since 1980's as a biological control. There is
only one reported escape of triploid black carp, however, this has not been
verified. The operation that reported the alleged escape, have accounted for
all of fish produced from the pond which was flooded and no black carp have
been found in the wild.

MICRA (Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association) is currently
attempting to get the USFWS to list the black carp as an injurious species
of wildlife under the Lacey Act. If they are successful, all known stocks of
black carp will be destroyed. The catfish farmers are willing to work with
the USFWS, state agencies and conservation groups on this matter to reach an
acceptable treatment regime, whatever that might be. After all, we must
conserve the native species but we must also allow the catfish farmers some
method of snail control. After all, the reality is that the world
populations are rising rapidly, food production from the seas is declining,
and aquaculture can only provide the food if it has the tools.

end AFS editorial

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

> > ACTION NEEDED IMMEDIATELY > > (3 parts: Introduction, Federal Register Notice, Response Letter) > > > > Introduction to the Problem > > <?/fontfamily><?fontfamily><?param Geneva>This message is a call for > > action to try and prevent the spread of the exotic black carp throughout > > North America. The black carp is a large (up to a meter in length) > > mollusc-eating fish that has been imported from Asia into North America > > (Arkansas and other states) by the aquaculture industry. Black carp were > > first introduced into the U.S. in the early 1970s as a "contaminant" in > > imported grass carp stocks. The second introduction came in the > 1980s when > > the species was imported as a food fish, and as a biological > control agent > > to combat the spread of yellow grubs in aquaculture ponds. The > Freshwater > > Mollusk Conservation Society, American Fisheries Society (the nations > > largest society of fisheries professionals) and other organizations have > > called for the elimination of all black carp stocks in North America. > > > > Four other Asian carp species (common, grass, bighead, and silver carps) > > have been introduced into U.S. waters, and all have been able > to establish > > themselves in the wild, producing large populations. The large

/----------------------------------------------------------------------------- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / For a digest version, send the command to / instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,