RECREATIONAL ANGLERS, nature lovers, farmers and waterway users are being invited to a series of community meetings in Victoria this month and November to hear about the Victorian Fisheries Authority’s plans to reduce carp numbers and the development of the national carp control plan.
The public meeting will be held in Echuca from 6pm to 8pm on November 16 at the Mercure, Port of Echuca, 465 High St.
State director of the plan, Craig Ingram, said carp were an unwanted pest in our lakes and rivers and reduce water quality, adversely impacting our native aquatic ecosystems.
They can cost the economy as much as $500 million per annum.
“In 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced $15 million over two and a half years to develop the plan that will include exploring the release of a naturally occurring, species-specific carp herpes virus as a biological control agent,” Mr Ingram said.
“Common carp were introduced to Victoria in 1859 and are now the dominant species in many waterways, having a major impact on the health of them and our native fish populations.”
The team developing the plan is now embarking on a large program of scientific research and public meetings across carp affected areas to:
■address knowledge gaps, and better understand and manage risks to support the potential release of the carp virus, subsequent clean-up and recovery of native fish and ecosystems;
■plan for an integrated approach to control carp in Australia’s waterways;
■build community awareness for the proposal to release the virus and address community concerns;
■develop strategies for release of the virus and subsequent clean-up; and
■support national coordination on all elements of the plan’s development.
At the end of 2018 a formal recommendation on the best way to control carp impacts in Australia will be made in a document called The National Carp Control Plan.
■For more information about the Victorian Government’s role and community meetings contact [email protected] or phone 9658 4737 or visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au/carpplan