Mercury Marine joined forces with Florida Sport Fishing TV personality Mike Genoun to help educate boaters about invasive species.
Zebra, quagga mussels, Asian carp and snakefish have long been known to pose threats to boaters. However, lionfish have the potential to become the most disastrous marine invasion in history by drastically reducing the abundance of coral reef fish and leaving behind a devastated ecosystem, Genoun says.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and Eurasian water milfoil, spread to new waters by hitching rides on boats and trailers.
Legislation to manage invasive species also is on the table. U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., introduced a bill (HR 4001) in February, according to a Mercury statement, that authorizes the secretary of the Army to address aquatic invasive species issues, particularly Asian carp, which are a considerable threat to the Great Lakes region. The current bill aims to design a barrier to carp invasion of the Great Lakes.
The American Boat and Yacht Council recently was awarded a grant by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a summit dedicated to "Boat Design and Construction in Consideration of Aquatic Invasive Species." The summit will take place Jan. 27-28, 2015, in Las Vegas.
Genoun’s message can be seen on the Mercury Marine YouTube page.