Local News

Calls For Carp Herpes Virus Release To Be Scrapped

carp (supplied).jpg

Rebekha Sharkie and her Centre Alliance colleague Rex Patrick are calling for the plan to release the carp herpes virus into the River Murray to be shelved.

The Member for Mayo says a recent report shows the virus would not solve the carp problem but would in fact create more issues, with the virus resistant fish remaining in the waterways to continue to breed while potentially millions of tons of rotting fish would need to be removed from the river.

Sharkie says unless this report is proven to be incorrect it shows the plan to release the virus is flawed and should be scrapped.

"Short of some future revelation that this latest report is flawed, or some future strain of the virus negating the current science, the Government must now turn to other solutions," said Rebekha.

"A large number of fish would die, but those that survive will develop a resistance to the virus," said Rex. "And because carp breeds like rabbits, eventually the current population densities will be restored. Bottom line, the problem won't be solved and we’ll be stuck with a virus in the river that wasn’t there before, and the presence of that virus will make other control measures less effective."

The man who announced the virus release back in 2016 Barnaby Joyce on Thursday said the virus should have been released already and should have never been delayed, a response Sharkie says is reckless.

"The Government should reflect on what has happened here, particularly after Barnaby’s reckless remarks last week," said Rebekha. "The words ‘Murray Darling’ and ‘Barnaby Joyce’ should never be used in the same sentence. Perhaps we need a law to that effect."