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Thread: Aussies Considering Release of KHV to Kill Carp

  1. #1
    Sanctimonious Ass - BANNED
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    Aussies Considering Release of KHV to Kill Carp

    I find it particularly interesting that while AKCA and others around the world try to control the spread of KHV that in Australia the are seriously considering use of the virus as a biological control for carp as a nuisance species. Plus, could carp hating regulators in state's like Maine, Vermont, and other states where they are nuisances use KHV as a control for carp? Is there something to prevent them from doing so?

    Virus May Control Australia's 'River Rabbit'

    Science Daily — CSIRO scientists are investigating a potential new biological control agent that could hold the key to eradicating one of the nation’s most invasive aquatic pests – carp.

    Australian Animal Health Laboratory biocontainment technician, Neil Slater, displays a good sized carp he recently caught. (Image courtesy of CSIRO Australia)

    Researchers at CSIRO Livestock Industries’ Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong – with the Department of Primary Industries Victoria – are investigating Koi herpesvirus as a means of controlling the introduced fish.

    Project leader Dr Mark Crane says the virus, which first emerged in Israel in 1998*, caused mass mortalities in carp in the US, the UK, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan and Indonesia. So far the virus does not appear to have reached Australia.

    Supported with $355,000 from the newly formed Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, the two-year project will investigate the effectiveness of Koi herpesvirus in controlling strains of carp present in Australia and will examine whether the virus will have any impact on certain native fauna.

    “All testing will be done within the secure biocontainment facilities at CSIRO AAHL,” Dr Crane says.
    Dr Crane says while carp are a valuable resource in Asian countries, in Australia the fish is generally viewed as a major pest.

    “Given their reproductive capacity and their hardiness, carp have been termed the ‘rabbit of the river’.”

    Carp were introduced into Australia in the early 1900s as a food and sporting fish. During extensive flooding in the 1970s the fish escaped from farm dams and took over the waterways. They can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures, salinity and pH levels. Carp can also survive and breed in polluted, poorly oxygenated water.

    “The fish grow to up to 20 kilograms or more in weight and each female can lay up to three million eggs in a single season,” Dr Crane says. “In some areas of south-eastern Australia carp make up more than 85 per cent of the fish in the rivers and creeks.

    “The virus works by attacking the carp’s gills as well as other vital organs and eventually killing its host. Koi herpesvirus is attractive as a biological control agent as overseas studies suggest that it has a very limited host range, infecting only carp.

    “If the laboratory studies show promise, the next step will be extensive government, public and industry consultation to determine the best course of action to control carp, while protecting and restoring Australia’s valuable waterways,” Dr Crane says.

    The project is part of a larger pest fish control program under the Invasive Animals CRC and 50-year Native Fish Strategy at the Murray-Darling Basin Commission. Other technologies being developed in the pest fish program include ‘daughterless’ technology, carp-specific biocides, pheromone and sensory attractants.

    “It is anticipated that if these technologies are proven to be effective and safe, they will be applied on-ground in an integrated pest fish control program for the Murray-Darling Basin,” Dr Crane says.

    *Earlier outbreaks occurred in UK in 1996 but the first scientific reports appeared following the outbreaks in Israel.

    Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by CSIRO Australia.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0908000617.htm

  2. #2
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
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    This has been discussed before, but it's still an insane idea. KHV is a "disease of confinement". It can be devastating on a farm or in display ponds where densities and stress factors are high. KHV-infected wild carp in the southeastern US seem to be able to survive quite nicely.

    -s tev

  3. #3
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    For information, you might want to contact the CSIRO directly. I have been in communication with those involved and found them to be very helpful. The research is in its early stages with no results/conclusions yet. While fellow koi keepers would be comcerned about the ornamental hobby, their is a significant responsibility of the research to ensure no transmission to native species.

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    Subject: Inquiry regarding Koi Herpes Virus Research as Bio Control for carp
    Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 13:20:05 +1100
    From:[email protected]
    To: [email protected]
    CC:[email protected], [email protected]

    Hi John,
    Martyn has forwarded your email to me for a response. The short answer is - Yes, we are undertaking some research to assist with determining the feasibility of using KHV as a biological control agent for carp in Australia. FYI, I have attached the media release that went out previously.
    If you have any further questions you can contact me directly and either I, or Ken McColl - the senior laboratory scientist involved in the project, will provide you with further info.
    Regards
    Mark

    MARK CRANE Ph.D.
    Project Leader
    AAHL Fish Diseases Laboratory
    Australian Animal Health Laboratory
    CSIRO Livestock Industries
    Private Bag 24
    Geelong Vic 3220
    International Phone: ᄉ 3 52 275118
    International Fax: ᄉ 3 52 275555
    email: [email protected]


    Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2007 20:07:06 -0800 (PST)
    From: "John Hawley" <[email protected]> View Contact Details View
    Subject: Fwd: Inquiry regarding Koi Herpes Virus Research as Bio Control for carp
    To: [email protected]

    Dr. Crane,
    I appreciate your rapid response even though it saddens me to see that your laboratory is seriously considering the use of KHV as a biological control agent for release into the Australian environment. This may not be the time to lobby against such a measure outside of the public comment and consultation period, but I'm sure I speak for many keepers of ornamental koi around the world with my protest against consideration of such a measure by your laboratory. As with SVC and VHS and the various strains of these diseases the complete impact to native species along with the various carp species might never be fully known and the various vectors that might transport the disease into other fisheries is obviously a concern. I'm not a scientist, but a media guy and member of various hobbyist organizations such as the Associated Koi Clubs of America that is working to eliminate the disease your lab is considering spreading. When the time is appropriate for public comment I hope our organization and others around the world will be afforded the opportunity to voice their opposition to carrying out any such measures.

    Respectfully,
    John Hawley



    Note Attached media release: Official CSIRO media release Dr Crane mentioned:

    http://www.koicluboftheair.org/MR_carp_0906.pdf
    Last edited by koicluboftheair; 02-20-2007 at 06:51 AM. Reason: additional info

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    Good lord, you just can't stop yourself, can you? JR

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    It's difficult for me to imagine even considering the effect that would have to deliberately release KHV into the waters.

    If the dingo poulation got too dense would they release parvo virus? I'm sure it wouldn't hurt any of the herding dogs that an entire sheep industry depends on. ( and which I love, I call them velcro dogs cause they stick to you better than a friend)

    As a sportsfishing person my entire life and student of the outdoors, I've watch wolves, bears etc hunted down and almost wiped off the face of the earth. I've also seen certain species of non game fish that eat salmon fry
    that have a bounty on their head and large fishing derby's are held to eliminate them with rewards for biggest, most caught etc. result, their populations are kept in check, not wiped out but the economics generated
    by the bounty and fishing tornaments are a boost for bait shops, tackle shops and boat houses.

    When I think of Australia ( as does the world) we think of a certain naturalist
    who endeared himself to the world because of his love and respect for the fishes and the critters and tried to educate folks on preserving life instead of
    eliminating it. Since Australia is in the middle of a promotion to lure the world to vacation there, wouldn't it be counter to their efforts to destroy that image? Doesn't it usually come back always to economics?

  7. #7
    Sanctimonious Ass - BANNED
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    Quote Originally Posted by dick benbow View Post
    It's difficult for me to imagine even considering the effect that would have to deliberately release KHV into the waters.

    If the dingo poulation got too dense would they release parvo virus? I'm sure it wouldn't hurt any of the herding dogs that an entire sheep industry depends on. ( and which I love, I call them velcro dogs cause they stick to you better than a friend)

    As a sportsfishing person my entire life and student of the outdoors, I've watch wolves, bears etc hunted down and almost wiped off the face of the earth. I've also seen certain species of non game fish that eat salmon fry
    that have a bounty on their head and large fishing derby's are held to eliminate them with rewards for biggest, most caught etc. result, their populations are kept in check, not wiped out but the economics generated
    by the bounty and fishing tornaments are a boost for bait shops, tackle shops and boat houses.

    When I think of Australia ( as does the world) we think of a certain naturalist
    who endeared himself to the world because of his love and respect for the fishes and the critters and tried to educate folks on preserving life instead of
    eliminating it. Since Australia is in the middle of a promotion to lure the world to vacation there, wouldn't it be counter to their efforts to destroy that image? Doesn't it usually come back always to economics?

    Great points Dick! Right on! Right on! Right on!
    I couldn't agree more. All the good will that
    Steve Irwin generated it seems would be lost on the negative PR generated from such a scatter blast sort of biological warfare aimed at one species with untold impacts on others in the biosphere.

  8. #8
    Honmei
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    On the other hand.....

    Do ya'll know about the reference they used as "the river rabit" in Australia? Australia as a unique set of ecological factors and balance and non native species can quickly throw the ecological balance for a loop as was the case with the introduction of rabits way back when. With no natural predator, rabits quickly threw the ecological balance for a loop and native species were threatened. Australia has controls already in place for ornamental carp to help prevent this disaster which may already be in the making. We may love our Koi, but perhaps some environments don't?

    Steve

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    Sanctimonious Ass - BANNED
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    Comments of industry professional on this issue today:


    I have often wondered if a government agency would do that. However, I thought it would be the US , not Australia ! I perfectly understand why they would want to try to do it because in addition to being a Koi farmer, I am also a biologist that deals with restoration of the native aquatic environment. However, I really believe that the plan is foolhardy, because some Koi will most certainly survive and develop resistance to the disease. And what about Asia & Europe? If Australia engineers the disease to be particularly deadly and it somehow (it would eventually) got to where the carp is native, it would be devastating to the region.



    Thanks,

    Mike Robinson

    Keystone Hatcheries

  10. #10
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    This topic is one that can become very emotive very quickly & very quickly reach conclusions based on fear rather than fact. I am only interested in fact. And right now there are no facts about planned releases, impacts etc. I read nothing more than research and no conclusions.

    Image how easily this could boil over among Oz hobbiests if speculation becomes rumour and rumour becomes believed.

    I have no issue with a discussion of facts. When we have them, then we can look further into the implications.

    For now I prefer to relax and let the research take place. Those involved in the research process are intelligent, innovative and part of the scientific community. I prefer to respect that.

    Respectfully
    Bradley

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