The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule that implements the import ban on bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) that was approved by Congress late last year. All forms of bighead carp, as well as any gametes, viable eggs and hybrids thereof, have been added to the list of injurious fish, molluscs and crustaceans that are prohibited from being imported or shipped to the United States. Imports of bighead carp will only be allowed in instances where a permit has been issued for scientific, medical, educational or zoological purposes, or without a permit by U.S. federal agencies solely for their own use.
The bighead carp is considered to be a threat to the Great Lakes region in the northern United States because they are large, extremely prolific fish that grow quickly and consume vast amounts of food. A broad range of fish and other wildlife are included in the list of injurious species, including the silver carp, large scale silver carp, black carp, walking catfish and various types of snakehead fish.