When Do Invasive Species Become a Precious Resource?

Perennial Plate/Video screen capture

A few months back, Mirra of the Perennial Plate authored a thoughtful, blistering treatise on the rights and wrongs of eating invasive species. As a vegetarian who has traveled with her meat eating partner as he traps and kills feral pigs, snacks on Canadian goose burgers, and feasts on iguanas in Florida, Mirra knows a little of what she's talking about.

The latest video from this prolific film making duo adds to that discussion—visiting with some commercial fishermen on the Peoria River whose livelihood is now dependent on Asian Carp, a species that most people would consider as invasive. But as you watch hundreds of fish leaping out of the water, and a boat laden down with a prime edible species, it is a stark contrast to the stories of depleted fish stocks that we usually hear in the news.

That's not to say, of course, that invasive species are not a problem—nor that we should automatically fish them out of existence. But rather that there are pluses and minuses to most invasive species - and that there may be ways to manage their numbers while obtaining a yield, and reducing pressures on less healthy fish stocks.

Tags: Biodiversity | Conservation | Fish | Fishing | Illinois

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