Australia will spend millions to use the sexually transmitted virus Herpes to kill invasive carp in a plan called “Carpageddon,” according to plans released to the country’s parliament Monday.
The Australian government plans to spend $11 million to spread the herpes virus to the country’s carp population, which will help native fish species such as silver perch and Murray cod to thrive. The virus is intended to wipe out 95 percent of the carp population over the next 30 years. The government plans to release the virus in late 2018.
“Carp are the worst freshwater aquatic pest in Australia,” he said in a statement, estimating the cost to the economy at [$373] million a year,” Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, said in a Wednesday statement. “Current control measures, including trapping, commercial fishing and exclusion, are expensive and largely ineffective at controlling carp over large areas or for any length of time.”
Joyce calls the fish “disgusting mud-sucking creatures” and a “venereal disease.” He is famous for loudly shouting “CAAARP” in Australia’s parliament.
Carp have been in Australia since 1859, but the fish’s population exploded in the 1960s after an adapted fish-farming strain was accidentally released into the wild.
The Australian government’s Science Minister said that the virus has no impact on humans and will only harm the carp. The Minister was quick to point out that cleaning up the mess of thousands of dead carp will be an enormous struggle. Carp account for 80 to 90 percent of the fish biomass in parts of Australia.
The virus was developed in Israel.
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