May 07, 2016 I Clarissa Wilson

Australia to Control Carp Population Using Herpes Virus

Carp Diem! According to the CSIRO blog, the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce has a new project on his to-do list for the country. He really hates how the carp are degrading the water system and “mating like rabbits” as he calls it. According to the blog, female carp lay one million eggs every year. That is a lot eggs!

Now, Australia is leading a research study with the help of the US to determine if the herpes virus can kill specific fish such as carp without harming or killing other fish as well as humans. So far, so good!

silver carp
Australia is tired of the carp taking over their rivers.

The herpes virus they are going to use to eradicate the infestation of carp is formerly known as koi herpesvirus. However, now it is scientifically known as Cyprinid herpesvirus or CyHV-3. So far, according to the research that has been done on this project, this disease will only kill carp and nothing else. However, what about the carp farmers who raise these fish for their farming business? Apparently, they will be fine because Australia is the only one trying to eliminate the carp because of how many they now have in their waterways.

Is releasing this disease in the water really necessary to get rid of carp? You are probably wondering why Australia is so fed up with the carp population, right? Well, the thing is, according to the blog, back in the 60s, there was a huge strain of carp released for fish farming. However, they became a pest as the years went by since they lay one million eggs per year. The blog states that carp take up 90 percent of the waterways, especially in the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. That is a lot of carp! But, why are they such a pest to the continent? Carp have a high tolerance for many habitats and since they lay so many eggs, they ended up degrading the rivers throughout Australia. They seem to be taking over the waterways in the country and the Prime Minister has decided to put a stop to them. They are going to invest AUD 15 million ($11.4 million) to eliminate the overpopulation of the carp. That is a lot of money to spend on trying to get rid of some fish!

common carp
The carp are overpopulating Australian rivers and lakes.

Research has been done about carp and not only are they taking over the rivers and degrading them but they are muddying the waters and this effects plant life as well as other species of fish. Researchers say that carp are damaging the ecology of the lakes.

Will this disease, formerly known as koi herpesvirus, effect mammals at all? We already know that there will not be an effect on other species of fish. According to the blog, research was done on mice to ensure that this disease will not harm or kill humans either.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!