Evidence of meeting #40 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was regulations.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Sarah Bailey  Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Nick Mandrak  Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Becky Cudmore  Senior Science Advisor, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Thank you.

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rodney Weston

Thank you very much.

Go ahead, Mr. MacAulay.

4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Doctor, it's interesting, what you're talking about. Basically, when we have an invasive species that comes in, to eradicate that invasive species is pretty well impossible. Is that correct?

4:45 p.m.

Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Nick Mandrak

It is very difficult. There are success stories in the world. The key to eradication is early detection.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

You're doing a study, which you're going to send to the committee. I'd be very interested in reading that.

In the situation where you spend a lot of money to eradicate a certain invasive species, and you do not, do you keep it at that level? Does it stay at the lower level, or does it go back up?

You talked about the environment being perfect for a species to expand. I would expect that they do expand again after we've spent a lot of money.

4:50 p.m.

Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Nick Mandrak

That's what happened, because you would have to continue spending that money to maintain the control, as we do successfully with sea lamprey. Once the sea lamprey came in, we established a control program. We do a very good job of controlling it but have found that it's almost impossible to eradicate it.

Again, prevention is the cornerstone.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Have you conducted any recent economic assessments on the effect aquatic invasive species have on the Great Lakes?

4:50 p.m.

Senior Science Advisor, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Becky Cudmore

No. The three of us here generally stick to science and social science. It's not part of our responsibility for Asian carp in the Great Lakes. Our policy and socio-economic analysts are doing a study to determine what the impact would be from a socio-economic point of view. But we're not part of that.

May 30th, 2012 / 4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

I would expect, then, when you're talking about invasive species that are already there, that the thought of eradicating it is not on. That will not happen. We have to continue to spend the dollars.

Is there any way we could deal with these species? You talk about Asian carp. Where it came from, in its natural environment, it had predators, and here it does not. I'm not suggesting that we have predators for them, because they'd likely kill more.

Is there any thought of going out further? Is there any thought of going beyond spending the money to do this? Is there any science, any evaluating work being done, to see where we could go?

4:50 p.m.

Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Nick Mandrak

Thank you for the question.

I really think that, again, prevention is key. Part of prevention is that we know that the Asian carp, for example, are in the Mississippi Basin right now. How do we prevent them from getting into the Great Lakes? We know that our American colleagues have set up an electrical barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent the fish from getting to the Great Lakes. They're also conducting research on other options to prevent them from getting into the Great Lakes. If they get into the Great Lakes, we need to look at ways that we can either control them in the Great Lakes or in fact prevent them from getting into the Canadian portions of the Great Lakes.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Are the electric barriers efficient?

4:50 p.m.

Research Scientist, Central and Arctic Region, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatics Sciences, Burlington, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Nick Mandrak

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is leading the study to look at the effectiveness of the barrier, and it appears to be quite effective.

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Thank you very much.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Rodney Weston

Thank you, Mr. MacAulay.

On behalf of the committee, I want to say thank you very much for taking the time to come and meet with us today and answer our questions. It's been very informative. I certainly do appreciate your input.

Dr. Mandrak, you talked to Mr. Donnelly about a report. You can forward that to the clerk, and the clerk will make sure it's distributed to the committee members. I appreciate that.

Thank you very much for your time today.

There being no further business, this committee stands adjourned.