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Great Lakes states, provinces join forces on invasive species

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes region have agreed to cooperate on enforcing invasive species laws.

They will share information and team up to investigate suspected violations, including those involving the possession and transport of banned exotic species such as Asian carp. An organization representing the region’s governors and premiers announced Monday that all the jurisdictions have signed onto the deal.

More than 180 non-native species have been introduced into the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. They compete with native species and damage sport and commercial fishing, tourism and recreation.

The regional group previously identified the 21 “least wanted” non-native fish, plants and invertebrates that pose a particularly high risk.

The group consists of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec and Wisconsin.

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