Scientists Now Want To Give Herpes To Invasive Carp

Australia has come up with a very interesting way to fight invasive carp. They want to give them herpes. Yes, I am talking about the same type of virus of the infamous STD. They plan on infecting the fish and hope it spreads across the population.

According to The Guardian, for the last seven years scientists have been experimenting with a carp specific strain of the virus. They have been testing the virus in Australian native fish species and
other animals found along the river and have established that it is safe to release into the ecosystem without harming other species.

The virus affects the carp’s skin and kidneys, takes about seven days to have a noticeable effect and, once it takes hold, usually kills the fish within 24 hours.

The Australian Conservation Foundation described the funding and staged release of the virus as “a good first step”. The foundation’s healthy ecosystems program manager, Jonathan La Nauze, said the funding would enable the community consultation and planning required to ensure the virus was released safely and without unwanted impacts on river communities.

It will be interesting to see how effective this is. It is always concerning when a disease is introduced into the environment. Hopefully there are no unintended consequences and they can get the invasive carp under control. If it works maybe the US can follow suit and help us get our invasive carp under control.

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