Plans by the Australian government to release Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) into its rivers appear to be gathering pace. The objective is to kill as many carp, deemed a non-native species in Australia, as possible, with around three-quarters of the country’s carp population likely to be wiped out if the plans go ahead.
However, ecologists have warned there could be a major consequence of so many decomposing bodies at the bottom of the rivers. A carcass uses up oxygen while rotting, and with so many fish expected to be culled, the other fish in the rivers could to suffer from the lack of oxygen in the water.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has said it is examining how similar fish culls have panned out around the world. The programme will be focused on the Murray-Darling river system in the south-east of the country and is not expected to get under way until 2018 at the earliest.