It’s all too easy to blame carp. What is the REAL cause of degraded Australian rivers?

The release of KHV has been deemed necessary by the scientists working on the project, to bring Australian waterways back to their pre-European days, for the purpose of removing non-native carp that cause environmental and predatory effects on native fish populations. Before going down this expensive and irreversible experiment on our national ecosystems, and threaten the lives of every pet koi in Australia, it’d be useful to have a proper review of the popular notion that carp are the great destroyer of the waterways.

In my recent blog (, using publically published government materials, I’ve compared the "carp-infested" waterways (that’ve had massive human intervention) with examples of rivers that are running naturally. There are no carp problems in the latter. Bear in mind that the carp we’re apparently afraid of, are non-aggressive prey-species, whereas those we’re trying to conserve are large carnivores with higher environmental requirements (e.g. water quality, flow, habitat) to complete their life cycles.

The powers have commissioned a company to enumerate the value of the koi and carp industry. What economic value do they have against the food fish or the recreational fishing industry? To koi owners, what is their value, when they are priceless?

KHV is without doubt, a devastating disease. Another question to raise is, what are the animal welfare implications of its release?

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Yours sincerely,

Dr Richmond Loh DipProjMgt, BSc, BVMS, MPh (Pathology), MANZCVS (Aquatics & Pathobiology), CertAqV, CMAVA, NATA Signatory.
Aquatic Veterinarian & Veterinary Pathologist
THE FISH VET, Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA.
Mobile Aquatic Veterinary Medical & Diagnostic Services.
Ph: +61 (0)421 822 383
Skype: thefishvet

President WAVMA 2014


Adjunct Lecturer Murdoch University


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