Carp-ageddon could spell doom for the River Murray

carpEuropean carp have been a scourge on the River Murray. The destructive feeding habits of the carp have decimated the ecosystem, displaying aquatic plants and animals.

In May 2016, it was announced that the Federal Government would spend $15million to eradicate carp, through the introduction of the herpes virus. The virulent herpes strain to be introduced is specific only to carp, and would kill 95% of the population over the next 30 years.

However, recent research by University of Adelaide honours student Richie Walsh, under the supervision of Professor Justin Brookes, has shown that the sudden death of mass amounts of European carp could be detrimental to the River Murray. Decomposed carp left in the River Murray would cause a drop in the oxygen levels, endangering native aquatic animals.

The findings demonstrates that more research is needed before the herpes virus is introduced to the River Murray in 2018.

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