Carp-culling program called into question by Sydney University
A PLAN to slash carp fish numbers in Australia’s waterways by infecting the pest-species with a herpes virus has been called into question by University of Sydney experts.
The warning, published last month in Australian Zoologist, comes as the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation investigates whether to go ahead with a planned release of the virus in an effort to help rebuild native fish numbers in Australia’s waterways.
“The release of this herpes virus in our waterways will undoubtedly cause a single epidemic of herpes virus disease resulting in massive deaths among carp,” said author Associate Professor Joy Becker of the university’s School of Life Environmental Sciences.
“However, there’s little evidence to suggest that we will see repeated outbreaks of a magnitude to counter the reproductive potential of the surviving carp.”
Dr Becker, who is a member of the government’s National Carp Control Program Scientific Advisory Group, has communicated her advice to the NCCP and to colleagues at scientific meetings.