Tags: australia | carp | herpes | virus

Australia Carp: Herpes Virus Being Used to Kill Invaders

Image: Australia Carp: Herpes Virus Being Used to Kill Invaders
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By    |   Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:04 AM

Australian officials plan to attack invasive European carp by releasing the herpes virus in the Murray-Darling river system to eradicate the invasive fish, according to Australian Broadcasting Corp. News.

Government authorities believe that introducing the cyprinid herpesvirus-3 into the waterway would kill 95 percent of the carp there over the next 30 years while not affecting humans, said ABC News.

Senior fisheries manager Matt Barwick, with Australia's Department of Primary Industries, told ABC News that in Israel people eat carp with traces of the virus daily and there was no evidence of health issues.

"They treat almost all of their carp grown for human consumption with a live attenuated vaccine to this virus, which is basically a weakened version of the virus," Barwick said. "So there is up to 58 million individual carp that are eaten for breakfast in Israel every day, with this virus, and there's never been a single documented human health issue."

Australia Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce called the European carp the "rabbits of our waterways" for good reason, with the fish making up 80 to 90 percent of the Murray-Darling Basin's fish biomass, a critical agricultural region for the country, noted the BBC News.

The country's science minister, Christopher Pyne, told the BBC News he was less concerned about the herpes virus being introduced into the waterway than the cleanup of the dead carp, which could become a costly venture.

"Suddenly, there will be literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of tons of carp that will be dead in the River Murray," Pyne told BBC News.

The BBC News said the Australian government is planning to spend $11 million for the eradication effort, called "Carpageddon." Joyce said the European carp has been costing the country's economy up to $376 million annually.

Pyne told ABC News that the virus will not be released until 2018, adding that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization believes it will not have an impact on human, but a devastating effect on the carp.

"It affects the European carp by attacking their kidneys, their skin, their gills and stopping them breathing effectively," Pyne said. "They have the virus for a week before they show any symptoms and it suddenly kills them within 24 hours."

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Australian officials plan to attack invasive European carp by releasing the herpes virus in the Murray-Darling river system to eradicate the invasive fish.
australia, carp, herpes, virus
398
2016-04-03
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 10:04 AM
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