Scientists Ponder Releasing Virus to Kill Carp

Discussion in 'Carp Fishing' started by bubbajum, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. bubbajum

    bubbajum New Member

    Just saw this on Yahoo news, I hope more information will be available as this plays out.

    Australian scientists have a new strategy for dealing with that have invaded their waterways: a virus that, if unleashed, could kill the fish.

    While carp, also called koi, are considered a valuable resource in many Asian countries, in Australia the fish is generally viewed as a major pest, according to the new project's leader, Mark Crane of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

    "Given their reproductive capacity and their hardiness, carp have been termed the ‘rabbit of the river,'" Crane said.

    Carp were introduced into Australia in the early 1900s as a food and sporting fish. Extensive flooding in the 1970s allowed the fish to escape from farm dams and take over the waterways. The carp are particularly hard to get rid of because they can tolerate a wide range of water conditions and can also survive and breed in poorly oxygenated water.

    "The fish grow to up to 20 kilograms [44 pounds] or more in weight and each female can lay up to three million eggs in a single season," Crane said. "In some areas of southeastern Australia carp make up more than 85 percent of the fish in the rivers and creeks."

    The two-year project will investigate the effectiveness of using the Koi herpes-virus as a way to control strains of carp present in Australia and will examine whether the virus will have any impact on certain native fauna.

    "The virus works by attacking the carp's gills as well as other vital organs and eventually killing its host," Crane said. "Koo herpes-virus is attractive as a biological control agent as overseas studies suggest that it has a very limited host range, infecting only carp."

    This isn't the first time Australian scientists have thought of using a virus to control a pesky invasive species that threatens to push out native wildlife. In August, researchers at the Pest Animal Control Cooperative Research Center proposed using a highly infectious virus to sterilize female rabbits and keep rabbit populations under control.

    For now, these proposals remain in the testing phases. "If the laboratory studies show promise, the next step will be extensive government, public and industry consultation to determine the best course of action to control carp, while protecting and restoring Australia's valuable waterways," Crane said.
  2. Amigo108

    Amigo108 New Member

    Columbia, Maryland
    Have any human attempts at altering the biosphere EVER worked out as planned? Be it by releasing a new predator or species or by trying to kill off a certain breed? My gut feeling is that they made the problem now just live with it.

    How about a program where they teach people how to FISH for Carp and include some nice recepies. Even if it doesn't do much to keep the population in check (Which it might do), people will have fun, get outdoors, and appreciate the species more as well as their natural resources in general.

  3. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    This is great news!!! I for one am happy someone is taking the lead in getting rid of them. Let them test this virus over there and Maybe"I said Maybe" we can use it to get rid of these asian carp "aka Bighead Carp" from our rivers.
    Bighead carp are a danger to boaters and the future of our fisheries. I don't think we want them hanging around in our rivers. Ten years down the road there may not be enough fish left in the rivers for a church fish fry!!! They eat plankton the same thing that fry (newborn) fish eat. The devestation that an over population of these carp can cause on fish (All Fish) can be astounding.
    We need to do something fast, before it is too late!!!
  4. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    I am against it. They could screw up the whole system. In the 50's Illinois Farm Bureau introduced Mange into foxes and it spread to other animals, you can still see the mange on foxes and squirrels after 56 years. I don’t trust the wise guys on the Eco system. Let it be.
  5. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Now,Now!You are talking about the kind of people that gave us Kudzu,Carp and African "Killer" Bees.The Dutch suddenly destroyed all records when a Aids source investigation led in their direction due to human inoculations with Chimp products in Africa.WHY?Remember.We no longer have the right to knowledge in this country.Our government has passed legislation to protect us from terrorism,by refusing us the knowledge needed to govern ourselves.You have to trust your politicians and government in all matters.As I understand it you can also disappear and be "detained" if someone decides to report you.May God help you if someone decides they don;t like your "Mangy"remarks.There are always some who feel self ordained to dictate and control others.I have found them to be the most dangerous of all.Never ever get between a scientist and a grant.Too bad they don,t eat Zebra Mussels.peewee-williams
  6. SkiMax

    SkiMax Well-Known Member

    Rising Sun, IN
    It could be a good solution, and I emphasize COULD. They need to look at the genetics of this virus and how easy it accepts mutations. If it mutates very easy (almost every virus and bacteria I know of does) then it could very very easily spread to other fish. They just need to be extremely careful and really do their research, i bet it would take 15 years of hard research for them to fully know the possibilities so I don't you will see it anytime soon.
  7. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of you who are suspicious. If you truly believe that these scientists really know what they are doing, then come stay with me for a while. I'll show you lady bird beetles--asian ones.

    Yes, thousands of the critters that fill our houses and clog our vacuums every year. It's a wonder that I have aphids on my roses, but these stinking things (literally) don't seem to like aphids at all!

    Yes, a botched experiment courtesy of the Shenandoah National Park. The hemlocks are still dying by alarming numbers, though. It doesn't appear that these lady bird beetles killed the woolly adelgid like they were supposed to.

    I am even more suspicious of scientists messing around with and releasing viruses into our waters.
  8. Dmitri

    Dmitri New Member

    Good Riddance, if we can safely get rid of them, we should do some controlled tests then spread the virus.
  9. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    It's not nice to mess with mother nature!
  10. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Conway Arkansas
    Can you imagine it if 85 per cent of the fish in our favorite hole were carp? We would have to change our name to brotherhood of carpfishermen. I hope they figure out the solution down under.

  11. laidbck111

    laidbck111 New Member

    While it sounds good on paper, I just don't trust science enough to want to release a virus into the water eco-system.
  12. Amigo108

    Amigo108 New Member

    Columbia, Maryland
    My point exactly Doyle, Im not against getting rid of the buggers, I just think it'll screw up somehow. For as smart as we think we are, we havn't figured out all the ramifications that our meddling does in a complicated system i.e. Mother Nature.

    Does anyone know af any instances when our meddeling actually worked. The number of ways this could come back and bite us/them is mind boggeling.

    I've got two words for you Aussie Scientist: Cane Toad.

    For a more fish related two words: Nile Perch. In another 20 years the water they inhabit will be so oxygen poor as to barely support life at all.

    There is no test they could do that would show all of the consequiences other than actually releasing the virus into the environment. If only one other species is affected (and I'm not talking just about fish species) it will have ripple effects that could easily be worse than the Carp.
  13. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Why don't they just go out on the water and shock them.Just enough to stun them ,catch them and get rid of them.They make good feterlizer.
  14. countrycat15

    countrycat15 New Member

    are we talkin bout comman carp to?if so that would suck.:confused2: also i think it's best to just leave stuff alone. god created it,i would just rather leave em alone.
  15. mcwrestler

    mcwrestler New Member

    Meanwhile, across many miles of oceans and continents the Euro scientists work on their own creation the super imune disease resistant carp. It is funny to see how different people in different countries view one thing. The lowly carp, once in, never out.
  16. Hoosiercater

    Hoosiercater New Member

    Carp will adapt and survive. In some of U.S. waters carp are over 90% of the biomass. Even in conditions where Flatheads, Channels, Blues and the like would die a thousand deaths, the carp will live. KHV, Dauterless Carp Genes, nothing will work. Survival of the fitess. That's the carp. The Worlds Greatest Sportfish.
  17. NIMROD

    NIMROD New Member

    We consider carp trash fish in Arkansas. They are unwanted invaders, not native fish. We commercial fishermen are required to remove all we catch from Nimrod . I admit they are fighters on light tackle. But they muddy the water and crowd out native fish. Also eat lots of eggs of our native fish. I'm all for wiping them out.
  18. buddah

    buddah New Member

    Pennsylvania Wi
    I have a bad feelin that it wont just stop after the carp are gone and will mutate into some uncontrollable mutant strain that will devastate everything! I donk know of even 1 example where any of the biological fixes ever worked out as planned or it just creates another mess to spend Billions on fixing! Just My Opinion Though
    Oh, Yeah, This is my 1000th post!
    :big_smile_2: :spiderman: ​
  19. Big Merc

    Big Merc New Member

    St. Louis, Missouri
    lol, We would still be the "BOC" though...:)