ONE of the biggest fishing-mad nations is trying to decimate all their carp with a killer virus, KHV, that can destroy 95 per cent of the population.
While the British government are trying to rid England and Wales of the killer Koi Herpes Virus (KHV), the Australian government are spending £8 million pounds releasing the deadly plague.
Dubbed “Carpageddon” by their government, the National Carp Control Plan is being put through by their deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who hit the headlines last year for wanting to kill Johnny Depp’s dogs.
Non-native carp have tore through Australia like rabbits did last century, and the Murray River where the initial attack will begin, is now estimated to have a carp biomass approaching 90 per cent.
Australia released myxomatosis into the wild in 1950 and that killed 500 million rabbits in two years.
‘Millions of tonnes of carp will be dead’
Science minister Christopher Pyne said: “Suddenly, there will be literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of tonnes of carp that will be dead and it will be costly to remove the corpses.”
Top Leicestershire-based fisheries scientist Ian Wellby of acclaimed fisheries consultants, Blue Roof Ltd, said: “I have severe doubts about this. The virus can cause a high percent mortality as has been seen in Japan. However it often doesn’t as can be seen in some of the UK outbreaks.
“The ones left will be immune and so would have to be dealt with by a different method otherwise you would be quickly back to square one. Also it can infect other species of fish, but I assume they have checked native fish species.
“Biological systems are never simple and I fear the law of unintended consequences may see an outcome that is unexpected.
“It seems strange that river can carry such a huge biomass of carp and perhaps there is something else that is causing the problem for example a very high nutrient loading in the river system from agricultural run off,” added Ian.
No KHV has been found so far in 2016 by the Fish Health Inspectorate in the UK but the disease comes into force with warmer water temperatures, normally in August and September. Last year 11 venues were hit, with 23 in 2014.
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