February 20, 2008
Invasive species are a serious and growing problem. The Telegraph (UK) describes the situation around the world and in Britain, where they are now worried about the infamous snakehead fish, which has also been found in the U.S. This is the monster-movie nightmare fish that can survive out of water for extended periods of time, walk on its fins, and apparently, if big enough, kill people.
An editorial in the New York Times describes the common practice of ships dumping their ballast water in-harbor rather than out at sea, whichis largely responsible for carrying invasive species across oceans. Global warming may also play a role. The modest solution for dealing with invasive species? Develop a taste for them. Asian carp, imported to clean catfish ponds in the Mississippi delta, have made their way all the way up to Chicago and only an electrified fence separates them from the Great Lakes, the largest body of fresh water in the world.
The Nature Conservancy discusses new global maps that reveal the spread of invasive species.
Here's the site of the National Invasive Species Information Center. which has extensive information on the problem in North America.