VHS: Great Lakes Conservation Issues (Complexity Revealed)

“A deadly fish virus has been discovered in fish from Lake Superior near Duluth. The contagious disease, viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, causes death in numerous fish species…”  “The virus attacks freshwater and saltwater fish and causes them to bleed to death. It already had been found in the other four Great Lakes and has been identified in 28 fish species in the Great Lakes watershed, where it has killed large numbers of walleye, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, whitefish, yellow perch and black crappies.” (Star Tribune)

The Comments reveal the complexity of this issue:

“The ships could have dumped cargo and picked up ballast water at the Atlantic Seaboard and then done the same thing in Duluth. The Atlantic coast strain is just a mutation of the European strain anyhow. We definitely need stricter laws regarding ballast water.”

“Regulating ballast water in great lakes ships is probably our best start to avoid future invasives”

“If the DNR were serious about controlling this virus they would work towards banning the use of livewells altogether. Fish destined for the table could be kept on ice in a cooler. As long as livewells are allowed there will be fishermen who will release fish from those livewells whether it’s legal or not. Also as long as livewells are allowed water will be transported from one lake to the next.”

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