Together, scientists and veterinarians around the world have engaged with the NCCP about Australia’s plan to release the koi herpesvirus. So many questions were raised, such as:
● why were there higher rates of deaths in non-target species (e.g. rainbow trout, silver perch, Murray cod) than in carp during their transmission trials?
● what impact will poor water quality as a result of mass carp die-offs have on native aquatic, and peri-aquatic fauna?
● what consequences will bacterial (including botulism) and algal blooms (including toxic blue-green algae) have on water ways, and on watering stock and crops?
These are only some from a long list of questions of foreseeable challenges that would be almost inevitable, should the virus be let out.
Subsequently, the government has decided on a 12 month extension before making a decision. The extension will allow time for researchers to look into the current knowledge gaps and speak with more stakeholders.
“This is a comprehensive and coordinated assessment, and once completed, will play a critical role in the Government’s decision on whether or not to proceed with release of the virus.
“Whether to release the carp virus to control carp is a big decision and it is essential that we get this early work right. There will be extensive further public consultation before any final decisions are made.”
But it seems as though the NCCP are still fixated on using the virus against the carp.