Stop the release of the cyprinid herpes virus-3 virus into Australia’s rivers and lakes.
This petition had 1,930 supporters
The aim of this petition is to stop the release of the cyprinid herpesvirus-3 virus (CyHV-3) into Australia’s inland rivers and lakes.
The herpes release seems highly likely to cause massive problems that have to date only been sketched. And all agree that while the release will reduce carp numbers dramatically, it will not eradicate them. This exercise may do little to improve water quality in our rivers either and may have signiicant collateral impacts.
Imagine this: “Let us release a herpes virus into the water supply. It won’t harm anyone. We promise.”
Here are some reason for concern:
1. No trial has been done.The thinking appears to be that it could just be released wherever carp are infesting our waterways. And that’s a lot of rivers and lakes.
2.No nation or state anywhere in the world has ever purposefully released CyHV-3 into its waterways. If Australia goes ahead as planned, it will be the first nation to do so. Might not others have held off for good reason?
3. Outbreaks. Most of these outbreaks have been confined to (carp) koi keepers’ ponds where 70-80% of fish have rapidly died. In Japan though, the virus has been found in more than 90 rivers.Outbreaks have also been reported without any known carrier. Here, suspicion arises that water birds may be able to spread the virus.
4. The virus will of course also get in water catchments supplying towns and cities. The CSIRO has so far been unable to guarantee that virus will be denatured by the levels of chlorination used in town water entering pipes
5 .While feral carp are rightly vilified as pests, they have been in our rivers for many decades. Other species have adapted to them with carp fry and young fish eaten by native fish and birds. Adult carp spawn around 300,000 eggs, although a huge number of these perish or are eaten before and after fertilisation. No modelling has been released on the impact on these native species if up to 90% of a major source of food suddenly dies. Should we be planning a program to reintroduce native species, or do we just sit back and see what happens? Are we potentially leaving an ecosystem gap for some other problem to fill?
6. Rotting. When carp die, they often sink and begin to rot before rising to the surface as they putrefy.
When organic matter deluges waterways, the oxygen-carrying capacity of the water can be dramatically reduced, causing mass native fish deaths, as has occurred in recent years in the Hunter and Richmond rivers. Heavy rains flush this away, but in low rain and drought periods, the problem can be catastrophic.
Currently there are serious algal blooms in the Murray being caused by high nutrient loads (fertiliser run-off, human and livestock waste). CSIRO experiments with the virus show that if released when the water temperature is warm, the virus will: "kill up to 95 percent of individuals within 24 hours of symptoms appearing. The virus is most effective in juvenile carp, and is transferred between fish through the water, living without a host for up to four days."
Source: https://theconversation.com/should-we-release-the-deadly-carp-virus-into-our-rivers-and-water-supplies-57982 Simon Chapman Simon Chapman is a Friend of The Conversation.Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney
https://theconversation.com/stinking-dead-fish-portend-major-problem-with-carp-herpes-release-71489 Simon Chapman Simon Chapman is a Friend of The Conversation.Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney
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