Socio-Economic Impact of the Presence of Asian carp in the Great Lakes Basin
Salim Hayder, Ph.D.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Policy and Economics
501 University Crescent, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N6
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Chapter 1: A Brief Overview of the Study Area
- Chapter 2: Literature Review
- Chapter 3: Methodology Adopted
- Chapter 4 - Baseline Values of Activities around the Great Lakes
- Water Use
- Raw Water Use
- Industrial Water
- Agricultural Water
- Commercial Fishing
- Recreational Fishing
- Recreational Hunting
- Recreational Boating
- Beaches and Lakefront Use
- Wildlife Viewing
- Commercial Navigation
- Oil and Gas
- Ecosystem Services
- Option Value
- Non-Use Value
- Aggregated Economic Contribution
- Limitations/Gaps Identified in the Study
- Chapter 5: Social and Cultural Values of the Great Lakes
- Chapter 6: Scenario Based on Biological Risk Assessment
- Chapter 7: Socio-Economic Impact Assessment
- Chapter 8: Conclusion
- Matrix 1: Total Economic Valuation Flowchart
- Matrix 2: The Great Lakes - Total Economic Valuation Flowchart
- Matrix 3: Summary of Empirical Studies Used for Valuation of Economic Activities in the Great Lakes basin
- Annex 1: Selected Socio-Economic Indicators for Ontario
- Annex 2: Aboriginal identity population by Sexes, Age Groups, Median Age for Ontario and Canada
- Annex 3: Estimated Water Consumption and Values by Sector, Lake and Province for the Year 2008
- Annex 4: Landings and Landed Values of Commercial fisheries in the Great Lakes by Species and Lake in 2011
- Annex 5: Number of Fish Harvested All Anglers Who Fished on the Great Lakes, by Species and Lake, 2005
- Annex 6: Heat-Map - Commercial and Recreational Fishing for 20 and 50 Years
Chapter 6: Scenario Based on Biological Risk Assessment
Historically, AIS have caused extensive damage to Great Lakes ecosystems, however it is difficult to precisely measure AIS populations and calculate their impacts with a high degree of certainty (Jude et al., 2004). There are some critical factors for determining the magnitude of AIS threats such as the species’ reproduction rate, the species’ ability to compete with other species, the quantities of biomass the species consumes. Mere arrival of Asian carp does not in itself amount to a major ecological threat, as the species must also demonstrate its ability to establish a self-sustaining population. If Asian carp establishes a healthy population, it has a strong likelihood of harming native plant and animal life, due to its large size and its ability to consume large quantities of native species’ food sources (Lieberman, 1996).
For the AIS already established, the estimates of resulting damages could ideally be made from empirical analyses of key variables before and after the invasion, controlling all other factors that could simultaneously affect the response variables (Hoagland and Jin, 2006). For an invasive species like Asian carp that has yet to be introduced to the Great Lakes basin, such an analysis is not possible. It is therefore necessary to seek an alternative approach to the quantification of potential damages to the economy.
Ecologists are making significant efforts to identify concrete changes to the ecosystem caused by AIS. Assuming that only the current management measures are in place and all other things being equal, CEARA, DFO, evaluated the likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment, and spread of Bigheaded carps (Bighead and Silver carps) in the Great Lakes basin, and the magnitude of the ecological consequences, based on a qualitative scale and corresponding ranking of certainty, for up to 20 years and up to 50 years.Footnote 85
Following Mandrak, Cudmore and Chapman (2011), DFO (2012) divided the risk assessment process into three steps.Footnote 86
Firstly, it estimated the overall probability of an introduction of Asian carp (using estimates of likelihood of arrival, survival, establishment, and spread) as follows:
Probability of Introduction = Min [Max (Arrival, Spread), Survival, Establishment].
According to this formula, the overall probability of introduction was estimated sequentially by determining the highest ranking between ‘Overall Arrival and Spread’, incorporating the ranking to the ranks of ‘Survival and Establishment’, and finally taking the lowest rank of the three.
In the second step, the study determined the magnitude of the ecological consequences of an established population of Asian carp.
Finally, the results from step one and the magnitude of the ecological consequences were combined into a risk matrix to communicate an overall risk. Each lake was assessed at the 20 year and 50 year intervals.
The major findings of the ecological risk assessment of Bigheaded carps in connection to this socio-economic impact assessment study are as follows:
- Once having gained entry into the basin, most likely through the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) into Lake Michigan, overall probability of introduction within the 20-year timeframe was very likely for lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, high for Lake Ontario (high certainty), and moderate for Lake Superior (moderate certainty);
- Bigheaded carps would survive and become established due to the availability of suitable food, and thermal and spawning habitats in the Great Lakes basin (particularly, in Lake Erie, including Lake St. Clair), and the high productivity embayments (shoreline indentations larger than a cove, but smaller than a gulf) of lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Ontario;
- The consequences of an established bigheaded carp population are expected to include changes in planktonic communities, reduction in planktivore (animals feeding primarily on plankton) biomass, reduced recruitment of fishes with early pelagic life stages, and reduced stocks of piscivores (fish-eating species); and
- A time lag is expected with respect to seeing the consequences of an established population of bigheaded carps in the Great Lakes.Footnote 87 Within 20 years, the magnitude of the ecological consequences was ranked moderate for all lakes, except Lake Superior, which was ranked low. Within 50 years, the magnitude of the consequences was ranked high for all lakes, except Lake Superior, which was ranked moderate. All ranks for consequences for all lakes in both time periods had moderate certainty. These ranks indicate the escalating consequences expected as the invasion and population numbers increase over time.
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