Previous research into carp control 

 

Over the past few decades, research on carp biology, impacts, and control tools and strategies has primarily been undertaken and coordinated by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, and the preceding Pest Animal Control Cooperative Research Centre.

 

There is a range of methods for controlling carp that people have trialed, including traps, nets, electrofishing, angling, genetic engineering and chemicals. Unfortunately, these methods only work in small areas and for short periods. Until recently, a feasible method for tackling carp on a large scale over long periods in connected waterways hadn’t been identified.

However, in 2006, CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (now the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness) began assessing the carp virus’ potential as a biocontrol agent. This work involved testing a series of native Australian fishes, rainbow trout and model species of reptiles, crustaceans, amphibians, birds and mammals for susceptibility to disease caused by carp herpesvirus (McColl et al., 2016).

The results showed carp herpesvirus is a potentially-viable and effective biological control agent for carp in Australia. It is species-specific and could potentially control carp across their range. However, as with previous viral biocontrol agents (e.g. rabbits), optimal carp population reductions would be obtained by deploying the carp virus in conjunction with other control measures (McColl et al., 2016a), most promisingly including a sex-biasing construct (Thresher et al., 2014) and manual removal.

While the focus of the NCCP was to investigate the feasibility of using the carp virus as a biocontrol method, the importance of considering it as the foundation of a suite of control measures is acknowledged.

Check out the reading list for more information.  

Removal of carp at Yarrawonga WeirA team from the Arthur Rylah Institute used electrofishing to remove carp downstream from Yarrawonga Weir, May 2017. Images: Tom Rayner.

The results showed carp herpesvirus is a potentially-viable and effective biological control agent for carp in Australia. It is species-specific and could potentially control carp across their range. However, as with previous viral biocontrol agents (e.g. rabbits), optimal carp population reductions would be obtained by deploying the carp virus in conjunction with other control measures (McColl et al., 2016a), most promisingly including a sex-biasing construct (Thresher et al., 2014) and manual removal.

While the focus of the NCCP was to investigate the feasibility of using the carp virus as a biocontrol method, the importance of considering it as the foundation of a suite of control measures is acknowledged.

Check out the reading list for more information.