Recreational anglers, nature lovers, farmers and waterway users are invited to community meetings to hear about plans to reduce carp numbers.
National Carp Control Plan Victorian director Craig Ingram said carp were an unwanted pest in lakes and rivers that reduce water quality, adversely impact native aquatic ecosystems and cost the economy up to $500million a year.
‘‘In 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced $15million 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 our waterways 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.
■Support national co-ordination 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 the National Carp Control Plan.
The 13 public meetings in Victoria will run from 6pm to 8pm, and include:
■November 1: Shepparton, Overlander Hotel, 97 Benalla Rd.
■November 2: Bendigo, All Seasons Hotel, 171-183 McIvor Rd.
■November 8: Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre, 33/37 Ford St.
■November 16: Echuca, Mercure Hotel, 465 High St.
■For more information about the community meetings, visit: www.vfa.vic.gov.au/carpplan
■For more information about the National Carp Control Plan, visit: www.carp.gov.au