Australia to launch $11.4 million program to infect carp with herpes virus
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has told the Australian parliament that the only way to get rid of carp is to infect the fish with a form of the herpes virus.
|Joyce described the carp as "disgusting, bottom-dwelling, mud-sucking creatures." Although infecting carp with herpes might seem like an overreaction, Carpagedon became official policy on May 1. While the carp was introduced into Australia long ago in 1859, it became a major problem only in the 1960s when a strain adapted for fishing farming accidentally was released. Christopher Pyne, Australia's Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science said: "The common carp is a nasty pest in our waterways and makes up 80 percent of fish biomass in the Murray Darling Basin." Joyce estimated the economic damage caused by carp is almost $400 million a year.|
This virus, once known as koi herpesvirus, is now formally known as Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3). Seven years of CSIRO research, supported by the Invasive Animals-Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), has shown that the use of CyHV-3 as a biocontrol agent could significantly reduce the number of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in our rivers.The plan will aim at maximizing reduction in carp populations while minimizing disruption of communities, industry, and the environment.
"The Carp is the queen of rivers; a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish; that was not at first bred, nor hath been long in England, but is now naturalised."