June 04, 2003
IJC Welcomes Report Calling for Action to Combat Alien Invasive Species
Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans Calls for Immediate Steps
Today, the International Joint Commission (IJC) welcomed the recent report of
the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans that urges the government of
Canada to take quick and decisive action to combat the threat of alien invasive
species in the Great Lakes. In particular, the report, "Aquatic Invasive
Species: Uninvited Guests" recommends that "Canada seek a permanent reference
to the IJC to coordinate and harmonize binational efforts to counter the threat
of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes Basin."
In addition, the IJC strongly supports the committee's recommendation that the
government of Canada commit to long-term funding for sea lamprey control, which
is needed to keep the sea lamprey from devastating the Great Lakes fishery.
"This program is essential to the rehabilitation of the fishery," said the Rt.
Honourable Herb Gray, chair of the Canadian section of the IJC. "We join the
Standing Committee in urging Canada to guarantee stable, long-term funding of
the sea lamprey control program, through the Great Lakes Fishery Commission."
In addition to calling for a reference to the IJC to develop a binational
strategy, the report recommends that Canada:
establish a national mandatory ballast water management program, including
standards for the treatment of ballast water;
establish emergency response centers to react to the threat of invasion;
implement a prevention strategy that includes inventorying species that pose
the greatest risk and identifying and managing potential pathways;
prohibit the importation, sale or trade of certain species of Asian carp; and,
fund education and outreach programs to raise awareness about aquatic invasive
"This important report captures the urgency of quick action to slam shut the
doors to invasion," said Dennis Schornack, chair of the United States section
of the IJC. "We are gratified that the committee heard our presentations and
transformed our recommendations into a detailed, comprehensive plan of action."
The text of the February 11th IJC briefing to the Standing Committee on
Fisheries and Oceans of the Canadian House of Commons is available at
and the complete report of the standing
committee is available at