Since 2017, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), have been undertaking a world-first program to assess the feasibility of using Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (the carp virus) to control carp in Australia. This was part of the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) which undertook risk assessment, research, planning and consultation to identify a smart, safe, effective and integrated suite of measures to control carp populations.
In January 2020, the FRDC delivered its assessment for consideration by government. As there are additional pieces of research underway, the FRDC will integrate these outputs into a revised version. Integrating key research results into a single document will best facilitate consideration of the carp virus’s potential as a biocontrol agent.
NCCP is one of several important inputs that will inform a decision by the Australian, state and territory governments on the carp virus, and this will be done in conjunction with public consultation and regulatory approval.
Native to Europe and Asia, carp have been introduced to Australia numerous times over the last 180 years and are now present in every state and territory in Australia with the exception of the Northern Territory.
Carp is considered the worst freshwater aquatic pest in south-eastern Australia, particularly within the Murray Darling Basin.
Research indicates that carp now makes up 80 per cent of fish biomass in many waterways and often displaces native species.
Already present in over 30 countries, the carp virus has the potential to reduce carp numbers in Australia by over 70%.
Such a reduction would have dramatic benefits for water quality, aquatic vegetation, native fish, fishing and irrigation.
Watch the Clear Water trailer.
For more information visit the www.carp.gov.au website.