Carp project op­por­tu­nity

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Wim­mera de­vel­op­ment lead­ers are closely fol­low­ing na­tional re­search into how best to use tonnes of dead carp and po­ten­tial of the biomass to pro­mote re­gional in­vest­ment.

They are aware the Wim­mera River might be a re­lease site for the po­ten­tial re­lease of a carp­spe­cific virus and of an ex­ten­sive fish-kill.

Wim­mera De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Ralph Kenyon said the re­gion, if con­fronted with a need to dis­pose of a mass of fish might have an op­por­tu­nity to ex­ploit the cir­cum­stance.

He said con­sid­er­ing tonnes of carp as a sus­tain­able re­source in­stead of costly land­fill waste might open a new door for en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­ity.

“There might be an op­por­tu­nity for some­one to take ad­van­tage of avail­abil­ity of carp to process the fish into fer­tiliser or some other prod­uct that might have saleable value,” he said.

“It might be a case of vol­umes on whether it presents long or short-term op­por­tu­ni­ties and what pro­cess­ing might be re­quired to turn the fish into a valu­able re­source. It might also rep­re­sent a value-adding op­por­tu­nity for ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions.

“If there is op­por­tu­nity for this to hap­pen we don’t want to waste it and this is why we’re in­ter­ested in the re­search.”

Na­tional carp plan

Fish­eries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion is lead­ing re­search into the use of Cyprinid her­pesvirus 3 to con­trol carp un­der the $15-mil­lion Na­tional Carp Con­trol Plan, NCCP.

The cor­po­ra­tion will present the plan to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment at the end of this year and the gov­ern­ment will then de­cide whether to pur­sue the use of the virus.

Curtin Uni­ver­sity re­searchers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing ways to sus­tain­ably use the carp biomass that could re­sult from a re­lease of the virus.

Their ‘As­sess­ment of op­tions for util­i­sa­tion of virus-in­fected carp’ project in­volves lab­o­ra­to­ry­based pro­cess­ing tri­als, as well as com­mer­cialscale tri­als of ways to pro­duce us­able carp-based prod­ucts in­clud­ing fer­tilis­ers, com­post, and fish­meal and aqua­cul­ture food.

Lead re­searcher Dr Janet Howieson, from the uni­ver­sity’s School of Molec­u­lar and Life Sci­ences, said the ob­jec­tive was to pro­vide the NCCP with a range of ef­fi­cient, ef­fec­tive and ap­pro­pri­ate uses for carp biomass.

“The re­search is de­signed to de­liver de­tailed cost-ben­e­fits analy­ses of the var­i­ous carp-use pro­cesses be­ing in­ves­ti­gated in­clud­ing at­ten­tion to har­vest strate­gies, trans­port lo­gis­tics and fish qual­ity at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions,” she said.

“Iden­ti­fy­ing lo­cal so­lu­tions and a com­mu­ni­ty­based ap­proach to us­ing carp biomass is a key part of the project.”

Com­mer­cial-scale trial

Re­searchers, in part­ner­ship with Goul­burn Val­ley Water in Vic­to­ria, have com­pleted a com­mer­cial-scale trial to sep­a­rate two tonnes of dead carp into solids and liq­uids. The solids went to com­post­ing tri­als and the liq­uids to lab­o­ra­tory-based di­ges­tion tri­als that ex­plored bio­gas pro­duc­tion. An­other 300 kilo­grams of whole carp went to a worm farm.

This fol­lowed a sim­i­lar trial at Port Lin­coln, South Aus­tralia, which used en­zyme hy­drol­y­sis to break down 10 tonnes of carp biomass into smaller pep­tides and amino acids that could be used for or­ganic fer­tiliser or as an aqua­cul­ture or an­i­mal-feed in­gre­di­ent.

Dr Howieson said re­search also ex­plored the fea­si­bil­ity of us­ing carp waste as in­sect feed, specif­i­cally for the black sol­dier fly.

“The black sol­dier fly pro­duces lar­vae that can be used as high-qual­ity aqua­cul­ture feed. Prod­ucts from the in­sect lar­vae feed­ing tri­als will then be tested in fish-feed­ing tri­als to eval­u­ate mar­ket op­por­tu­nity,” she said.

A large-scale com­post­ing trial in­volv­ing a va­ri­ety of com­post­ing meth­ods in­volv­ing carp biomass is also un­der­way.

NCCP na­tional co­or­di­na­tor Matt Bar­wick said iden­ti­fy­ing eco­nom­i­cally vi­able and pro­duc­tive uses for carp was an es­sen­tial part of the NCCP’S clean-up strat­egy.

“We know there are large vol­umes of carp in our wa­ter­ways, so work­ing out what to do with the carp biomass if bio con­trol pro­ceeds pro­vides us with a mea­sured ap­proach to help in­form NCCP rec­om­men­da­tions and the sub­se­quent de­ci­sion-mak­ing process,” he said.

“One of the most fre­quent com­ments at our com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion ses­sions re­late to how we can best use po­ten­tial carp biomass.

“We en­cour­age the pub­lic to en­gage with the NCCP to share thoughts and opin­ions in re­la­tion to the im­pact of carp, the pro­posed meth­ods for re­duc­ing carp num­bers and pos­si­ble op­tions for carp biomass use.”

IN­VES­TI­GA­TION: Tonnes of nox­ious dead carp used in a Port Lin­coln trial in South Aus­tralia.

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