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Season 1, Episode 7 · 4 years ago

Episode 107 - Invasion of the Sea Lamprey


This is under the low bridge, an unconventional history of the Erie Canal. In honor of the two hundredth anniversary of its construction, the history department at the University of Rochester presents six environmental stories and you're listening to here. You are, everybody. Welcome to part seven. Invasion of the Sea Lamprey. I'm said Luhan and I'm Ruth Den. Ruth, can I share with you the creepious description of a sea monster I've ever read? Go for it, here it goes. They stalk to the Great Lakes since the eighteen hundreds, leaving scores of dead in their wake, and even the best science hasn't been able to stop their incessant breading. Scientists have mapped their genome, are experimenting with cutting edge firm and research and sterilization techniques, and have pulsed the waters with electricity and fed the creatures chemicals in the hopes of stopping their scourge,...

...but nothing seems to really work. I found this description of two thousand and seven article in the Halifax Daily News Describing Se lamp praise, and it reads like a horror story with I heard you were looking into these sea monsters. Can you describe what they are. Sea lamp praise are parasitic fish. I have a simy eel like body that usually measures out two four feet long. Although the description from the article is dramatic, it's true that lamp praise attached themselves to large fish like tuna and feed on their bodily fluids. They don't have any jaws, but they do have a round mouth with sharp, consecutive circular rows of teeth. Is Seldom able to free itself from a mouth like the sea. Lamp Praise are native to the Atlantic coast and are part of a healthy marine ecosystem there, but in the Great Lakes region they are deadly and unnatural threat, leaving gaping holes in the sides of millions of fish.

Scientists have been trying to eradicate them since the s wait. So are they part of a healthy ecosystem or threaten the Great Lakes, and why have scientists been fighting them for the past seventy years? As Seen, Lam prey maybe a parasite on the open ocean, but in the Great Lakes their Predator, a large tuna, could survive a hit, but a smaller lake trout usually can because they didn't co evolved with sea lampreys. Here they are deadly invasive species, where they killed more fish in the nineteen F s than the entire commercial harvest. This is a huge problem because the surrounding communities are heavily dependent on fishing to earn a living. I can see the problem in margin. Can you describe how the Lampreis entered the region? A fisherman reported the first lamprey in Lake Ontario in the eighteen F s. There are suspicions that they entered through the Erie Canal. Okay, so what changed? As trade demand...

...increased throughout the New York State region in the eighteen s canals were extended and widened to accommodate bigger ships. The Welland Canal Connected Lake Erie and Lake Ontario bypassing the Niagara Falls in the early eight S, but in nineteen thirteen the canal is widened, increasing the water flow between Erie and Ontario. When this happened, the lampreys were able to get past the falls and enter the upper great lakes, causing trouble for the local fishermen. This really is a textbook example of an invasive species. But I think that stopped quite right. What do you mean the lamb praise are organisms that were brought into a new area by humans. They disturb the environment and kill native species in the process. Isn't that the definition of an invasive species? I think instead, the questions we should be asking is one. What defines an invasive species and to why... we want to eradicate them so much? The National Invasive Specie Council defines invasive species as alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. But this definition reveals is that they're always economic and political factors that come into play when determining when a species is considered invasive or not. Invasive species seems to carry the implicit notion that they are harmful in all environments, but this is not true. In some cases they can actually help restore balance to an unbalanced ecosystem. Plus, when you were talking about the timeline earlier, I noticed a discrepancy. And what's that? You cited theft these as a time that the ceiling praise were effectively destroying the ecosystem. While I was just reading Nancy lanks to his book Sustaining Lake Superior and apparently, around this time the Great Lakes were heavily polluted. A scientists named Charles H stoddard showed that mining and industrial waste had a big impact on the Great Lakes ecosystem. The S was a period of peak pollution for...

...the region and that's when the trap population crashed. I see what you're saying. The Sea lamp praise were in Lake Ontario in the S, a hundred years before the trap population began to decline. Who was only the combination of pollution and the sea lamp praise that caused the collapse. So, in other words, it was only when the lamb praise began posing a threat to like trout that perceptions of them changed. They were seen as alien and invader that needed to be dealt with, and there were me appearance certainly didn't help. This episode was made possible about the generous support of several departments at the University of Rochester. The here you are team. Would like to think of Melissa Meade and the Department of our books and special collections, Clare Tinker and the digital scholarship lab, Stephen Resner at the Department of Audio and music engineering and, last but not least, the Department of History,.

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