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Proposed changes to protect Great Lakes from bighead carp invasive species

April 17, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Public comments on the proposed changes to regulations for the import, transport, possession and sale of bighead carp will be accepted until April 20.

"The proposed regulation will ban the importation, possession and sale of live bighead carp in New York," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens. "Governor Cuomo and DEC recognize the serious threat bighead carp pose as an invasive fish species. Millions of dollars are currently being spent by federal and great lakes state agencies to prevent these fish from gaining access to the Great Lakes basin via the Mississippi River system."

Existing DEC regulations prohibit the possession and sale of fish species, including snakehead fish and three species of Asian Carp, including bighead carp, which have determined to be a present danger to indigenous fish populations. However, the current prohibitions include an exception allowing bighead carp to be sold, possessed, transported, imported and exported in the five boroughs of the City of New York and the Westchester County Towns of Rye, Harrison and Mamaronek and all the incorporated cities or villages located therein.

As a result of federal action, all interstate transportation of live bighead carp has been banned so the exceptions in DEC's regulations should be repealed. Repeal of the existing exception for live bighead carp will eliminate any possible confusion regarding the legal status of this species in New York and will bolster efforts to prevent the spread of bighead carp into the Great Lakes states.

Comments on the proposed regulation can be sent via email to with "Bighead Carp Regulations" in the subject line or mailed to Shaun Keeler, New York State DEC, Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4753.



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