Company fined for importing Asian carp
Published Friday, June 22, 2012 8:13PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 22, 2012 8:34PM EDT
A Toronto company has been slapped with a $50,000 fine after it was found trying to import live Asian carp into Ontario, an invasive species that has been known to wipe out aquatic ecosystems.
The 2,500-kilogram fish shipment was stopped at the Sarnia border on its way to Fortune Fisheries, a Toronto company that sells to local restaurants.
Though the fish had been on ice for 24 hours, since being shipped from a fish farm in Arkansas, it came back to life when a border official put some of the fish into a bucket of water.
The company was fined as a result.
While shipping dead Asian carp into Canada is permitted, the live ones have been known to cause massive ecological damage and are outlawed in Ontario, where an influx of Asian carp has the potential to devastate the $7-billion Great Lakes fish industry.
In the Mississippi River the carp, which are meat-eating predators, have destroyed large parts of the ecosystem, decimating the small-fish population, which leaves no food for larger species, including salmon and trout.
In fact, Asian carp have been found as far north as Chicago, which is very troubling for environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of Canada.
“They feed at the bottom of the food chain. They take the food out of the bottom of the web, so that small fish don’t have anything to eat and, therefore, the large fish don’t have anything to ear,” said Sierra Club spokesperson Mary Muter.
This is the fourth time authorities have uncovered live Asian carp being shipped into Ontario.
With files from CTV Toronto's Paul Bliss