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Published by 13arkirat

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Published by: 13arkirat on May 13, 2011
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Champions of the EarthProposalArkira, Fern, Pobai, Guilhe 11BDear the UN’s Champions of the Earth organization,We are writing to you as a proposal for the monetary award of $40,000 tosupport a conservation project which will take place in the upstream of theMississippi River.Ever since the Asian carp (a type of fish), was introduced to the United States inthe 1970s, it has progressed into the dominant species of the main rivers andstreams. The aim of the project is to reduce and prevent close by areas frombeing overpopulated by the Asian carp. Originally from Asia, the species wasexpected to serve as a solution towards removing algae from ponds. As a resultof the Great Flood in 1993, ponds had overflowed displacing the fish species inthe area. Since then, Asian carp has been found to be a great threat to thenative species, having no natural predators therefore crowding out the fish withthe same diet. A solution for the issue could be the introduction of non-physicalbehavioural separation barriers. The BAFF barrier would be a useful and effective solution as installation wouldhelp maintain a balanced ecosystem within the area. The existence of carpspecies has affected the biodiversity of native species such as the two types of fishes Bighead Buffalo and Gizzard Shad. For example, in years 2000 thepercentage of the occurrence of the silver carp was at 7%, however in years2009, its percentage increased becoming a 31%. This means that there hadbeen an increase in the occurrence of the species by 24% throughout the 9 yeargap. It is observable that this occurrence has an impact on the native species.For example, the percentage of occurrence of the Bighead Buffalo decreased by5% through the years 2000-2009. We can conclude from data obtained thatthere is a need for the solution to be installed in order to prevent the nativespecies’ numbers from dropping even further.Since Asian Carp have been located along the La Grange Pool, Illinois River,which connects major water bodies Mississippi River to Lake Michigan, the BAFFBarrier will be installed along the perimeters of the La Grange Pool, a region inthe Illinois River to prevent carps from overpopulating upstream to LakeMichigan and the Mississippi River. Doing so will prevent the carps fromestablishing a self sustaining population in further areas in Lake Michigan andthe Mississippi River. The proposed solution is the non-physical behavioural separation barriers or theAcoustic/Bubble (BAFF) Barrier Acoustic Fish Fence which is equipped with acombination of bubbles, sounds, and high intensity lights which are repellent tocarps with narrow-beam lights fitted at the base. Therefore, water appears to bemore transparent in the bubble sheet, allowing light to reach surface even inturbid water (which covers some parts of the river). The lighting forms acontinuous line along the barrier, preventing carps from crossing the designatedbarrier and overpopulating.
Champions of the EarthProposalArkira, Fern, Pobai, Guilhe 11BBecause Asian carp are extremely sensitive to sound, an effective solution wouldbe to implant the sound system becoming a ‘wall of sound’ into thesurroundings. The setup will act as a guidance barrier, directing the speciestowards a specific direction. The money if rewarded will be used in a purpose of funding the project through the necessary research, such as processes of identifying fish migrating areas. Because animal behaviour is as a response tosurroundings due to the occurrences within the environment, advanced researchis required in order to develop the right frequency ensuring that only theinvasive species are to react to the sound enabling a selective passageseparating the invasive species from the natives. The initial development cost of this BAFF project is totalled at $55 000. The aim of BAFF barriers or non physical barriers is to restrict and divertmovement and isolate the Asian carp species, preventing escape to larger areasof Lake Michigan and Mississippi. Therefore, it does not affect navigation of theriver and has minimal effect on natural river flow. In the present, the system is97% effective as research shows that fish do not develop habituation to thebarrier, thus making it effective for long term use to isolate the fishes in thisspecific area.However with high frequency sound waves, the barrier is not only effective to theinvasive species but also to other species as well could result in native speciessuch as gizzard shad and bigmouth buffalo not being able to expand theirpopulation elsewhere in the river. Therefore, extensive research and advancedtechnology is required to bring improvement upon the system. This wouldprovide job opportunities during the development and monitoring, as well as helpsolve the problem by restricting only the invasive carp species in the La Grangearea. Restricting the population growth of carps would benefit commercial fishingindustries, since the carps will not hinder the growth of native fishes which arethe common commercial fishes for human consumption. Fishing industries wouldhave an increased profit in their business. However, this improvement wouldincrease the expenses.Overall, the goal is to minimize the area of the river (La Grange Pool) by usingBAFF, and at the same time, reduce the capacity of invasive species of LaGrange Pool by the long term. Although BAFF has minimal effect in short termsas the system does not eliminate and reduce the actual population of invasivespecies but by restricting movement of the population it could help reduce itsnumbers in the long term since the carps could compete within its own speciesfor food source. The outcome of installing BAFF barrier is that theoretically, and hopefully, thereare less numbers of Asian Carps within the La Grange Pool and beyond, in IllinoisRiver, allowing there to be more growth of other species in the area and
Champions of the EarthProposalArkira, Fern, Pobai, Guilhe 11Benvironment, thereby, improving the ecological manner of the situation. Thisalso prevents the invasive species from overpopulating upstream into furtherareas of Mississippi River. To allow us to monitor the success of the barrier, we will be tracking themovement of fish in the area. This will be done through capturing fish from theAsian carp species as well as the Bighead Buffalos and other species which havebeen affected by the issue, tagging them, and releasing them back into thesame area with the barriers installed and ready to operate.With this technology of being able to monitor individuals from each species, wecan observe if the Asian Carps have indeed been directed to the set location andwhether the barrier system has control over the movement of other fish species.Also, valuable data can be obtained on whether the system is effective or not interms of operating as a selective passage.Although we understand that there are other projects also aiming for themonetary fund, we feel that in some ways, our project deserves the award fundto put the system into place. BAFF will prove to be a sustainable solutiondirecting and controlling the invasive species under an area in order for thespecies to become competition against each other and decrease its ownpopulation. The system seems to be a crucial solution in order for the nativespecies of fish in the Mississippi to remain before getting wiped out entirely as aresult of the overpopulation of invasive species.We thank you for considering the proposals we make above and we look forwardto your reply.Respectfully yours,Arkira, Fern, Pobai, Guilhe 11B
AppendixTable 1: Data Obtained – Frequency of Occurrence of Species in the LaGrange Pool YearFrequency of Occurrence (%)
BigmouthBuffaloSilver CarpGizzard Chad19939037199417052199519058199618052199719056199814059

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