Australian Government To Release Herpes Virus In Water Supply

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Australian government to release herpes virus into waterways by 2019

The Australian government have announced plans to release the herpes virus into its waterways by 2019, despite fierce opposition by the scientific community. 

In an effort to fight “invasive fish species”, the herpes virus is expected to wipe out the common carp. However, scientists have warned that the virus may become a major public health risk to humans too. reports: Australia has long been trying to control the population of the common carp, an invasive species that was first introduced in the 1800s and now makes up for 80-90 per cent of the fish biomass in the nation’s largest river system.

This has caused ecological damage as carp are prolific breeders that compete with native fish. They also feed at the bottom of rivers, causing erosion and reducing water quality. The Australian government said it costs the country’s economy up to $500 million a year.

In 2016, the government allocated C$14 million in a plan to release the herpes virus into the nation’s largest river system to kill the carp species. It would then infect carp with a strain of herpes called CyHV-3, which damage the kidneys, skin and gills of fish and killing up to 95 per cent of the species.

The government said it conducted extensive research to make sure native fish, birds, amphibians and other species in the river system could not contract the virus.

Australian Science Minister, Christopher Pyne said the virus would have no impact on humans, but the clean-up would be costly. Thousands of carp are expected to die after the virus is released.

The event is being labeled as “carpageddon.”

“Suddenly, there will be literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of tonnes of carp that will be dead in the River Murray,” he said in a BBC article.

The government plans to release the herpes virus as early as 2019.

‘Serious ecological ramifications’

On Friday, six researchers published a letter in Science arguing that releasing the virus into Australia’s waterways is unlikely to be effective.

The effectiveness of the virus depends on environmental factors, such as having water temperatures between 16 C and 28 C. Carp that survive the initial viral epidemic in hot or cold spots would be able to replenish the population quickly, the authors stated.

According to The Guardian, British scientists also published a warning about the virus in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal on Feb. 21.

The researchers said the “irreversible high-risk proposal” could have “serious ecological, environmental, and economic ramifications.”

They also said that releasing a virus that attacks the most commonly-farmed fish in the world could impact the global food supply and that the oxygen loss caused by millions of tonnes of rotting carp killed by the virus could “lead to catastrophic ecosystem crashes.”


    • Same reason they banned people hunting Roos to control their over populations. Agenda 21. All of the world has to be privatised, and people banned from playing their natural lives out in it. Just like nestle and coke are doing to the worlds second largest aquifer water supply in south america. This isn’t about carp its about killing us off. This was the conclusion of a bilderberg meeting, people wouldn’t readily agree to their own populations being wiped out, but they would support green issues to save the earth which happen to result in their depopulation. Well until they start realising that they had been using those agendas to build a hog trap for us.

      • So mutant zombie carp are going to join the UN and murder us in our beds ? OK

        let me know when this extermination begins

          • Given all the possible ways to kill the world’s population don’t you think using a carp virus that has been in Europe for decades is a is just a little far fetched ?

            Is it possible to put a hold on your paranoia and think for a few minutes ?

          • Ahh I see, unless it literally does it in that one move alone, there is no way it could be a contributory thing. Since when is herpes a carp virus alone? Even if that was the case, since the late 50s all sorts of diseases have become cross species.

          • There are so many herpes viruses they all behave differently Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) only affects carp

            it has been tested in Australia for over 10 years and has been in Europe for many more years

            It has never crossed species

            It infects other carp or dies with the host

            Why don’t you make the effort to actually read the research rather than making yourself look foolish ?

          • If that is all they put in there, and it remains as ‘only infects carp’ then very well, I’ll accept that.

    • Carp as an invasive species in Australia. Agenda 21 does not cover carp. Agenda 21 is about ecologically sustainable development; ie not taking more than can be replenished. People do catch carp, however because they are bottom feeders in meat is full of silt and needs to be soaked for several days. Then, apparently they taste fairly bland so there’s no great market. the point is that carp make up over 90% of the biomass of the river system, ie add up the weight of all living things in the river including vegetation – 90% of that is carp.

        • agenda 21 is about distracting the population from the real and serious issues, it was created and spread by the rich and powerful so you would forget about what they are doing to democracy and the planet

          It’s working perfectly thanks to people like you

      • Ma’am I don’t know who has been telling you what and I don’t mean to offend BUT the only thin one has to do with carp is cut out the RED line of fat between the upper and lower part of the fillet and smoke em it tastes just like smoked salmon. I know that because we used to do that every weekend on the Snake river here in the states. You realize that the herpes virus wont JUST kill carp I hope. That’s like introducing AIDS into a river and expecting it to only infect.. Frogs??

      • Hey Linda. Carp is the most eaten freshwater fish in the world, all freshwater fish has to be flavoured, carp is no different,
        Poison the river with a virus and the 20% of carp left will carry on breeding anyway

      • OOOOOKKKAAYYY if that’s what they tell you. From what I know of herpes is always communicable to humans as well as animals. It’s your country though It’s just too bad your country doesn’t make it a massive business opportunity and ship smoked carp all over the world particularly to starving nations

        • Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) is not harmful to humans or any other animals including other native fish.

          There is no export market for carp, they are a feral pest, if there had been an economic way to harvest them and sell them it would have happened

          The only commercial use for them is fertilizer and that is on a reasonably small scale using electro fishing and nets.

          If you have any other research about Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) being transmissible across species that goes against the 10 years of CSIRO research I would love to see it please.

          What are your qualifications in aquatic science anyway ?

          • You say there is no market for Carp Exports well obviously you have been sitting around with your eyes closed. The market for Carp as a food source has grown in Australia over the last few years & Electro Fishing companies in S.A & Vic have orders of between 10,000 Tonnes & 2 Million tonnes annually from international interests however those interests are not willing to enter any agreements or contracts while ever our Government is thinking of this releasing this virus.

            “[Human consumption] has grown a lot over the last 10 years and we have tripled the amount sent to market,” Mr Warrick said.

            Last financial year, the Sydney Fish Market sold 83,000 kilograms of carp and it expects sales will continue to increase.
            Source –

            “I’ve got an order I could fill tomorrow of 10,000 tonnes of carp to China,” she said.
            Source –

            There is no possible way they can sit there & say there is “No Market” when its the Government keeping the market down.

      • Thats the research they want us to see. Why is Dr Crane never mentioned in the research? Is it because his tests show deaths in Non-Target species such as 24% of Murray Cod? If you research for yourself there is a lot of information that goes against what the NCCP have to say.

        • Odd because no research I have read indicated any mortality in any native Australian species

          Can you please provide the research paper that you are quoting from ?

          • If science says they cannot explain the morbidity then what that means is they cannot explain it.

            If the deaths were due to the virus that would be an easy explanation to find and confirm and that is what the research would have shown.

            Morbidity due to the virus would have been what they were looking for, they did not find any evidence of that

          • So they need to show what those deaths were from. If not from the virus than what was it? It is possible the virus will affect different species and even different family’s in different ways. To say for example it is conclusive the virus will not harm humans once tested on mice is not possible. The Flu affects Humans but does not affect Mice or Rats. Whats to say this virus will not or does not?. The research is full of hole & so are the discussions with Matt Bariwck from the NCCP Meetings. They are ignoring other options.

            One Commercial Fishing Family has come forward to say they are on the verge of loosing their home after investing to create a Carp Processing plant so they could export to China & they had the orders ready & waiting but with the announcement of this plan they are declining to enter any agreements. There are numerous orders from other countries for Carp to be exported yet Barwick keeps saying there is no industry. They are keeping the industry down & if they supported it than we would have more jobs, More income, More Tax & less Carp without the need for a globally notifiable disease.

          • If you have read those articles like you claim you would see they repeatedly say they “Do Not Know” what caused the deaths. If they want to prove the virus is not responsible they need to be able to tell us what the deaths are caused by. Also things like not being able to maintain water quality or having trouble keeping the fish alive is not acceptable. If any moron can keep these fish alive in aquariums than why can not keep the fish alive. Are they incompetent?

          • If you invested in any carp industry in the last 10 years you would be an idiot

            because this was always going to be a probability

          • Thats not quite right. Most people have not known about this virus or any planned release until the last 12 -24 months. In fact 90% of people I speak with have never heard of it now. What information is being put out and made public is the “Good Side” of the virus in its ability to reduce Carp. There is no mention of any other issues & when another issue comes up we are told “We are working on that”. almost 10 years of research & they can not answer half of the questions.

          • I have read the report

            If you understood how scientific reports must be written then you would understand the report better

      • So why do they have so few answers? The most common repsonse from the NCCP is “We are working on that”. After 10 years they should have the answers.

      • How much research and testing has gone into removing millions of dead carp before they rot?

        • About 8 years
          That was one of the main reasons they needed such a long planning period and such careful selective release programs

          • So after 8years the conclusion is “we only need to remove enough to not affect the water quality.”? Cheap river front properties coming soon lol.

        • The response I got from Matt Barwick at the 2 NCCP Meetins I attended was “We will be leaving fish in the river system” and “We Are Working on a plan to clean up in areas that are required”. So in other words after 8 years of testing they have no clue.

  1. Everything could go wrong. This is like one of those zombie apocalypse movies. This will spread to all kinds of creatures. Why not just drain the lakes one at a time to get them?

    • Because it’s the River Murray, Australia’s longest river that starts in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales and finishes its 2,508 kilometre long journey in South Australia… not a bunch of lakes. 🙁

    • The only brain dead zombies are the ones who have not bothered to fact check the science on this and who have no idea what the problem is or why this is the best available solution

      Stop and read the science

      Before forming your opinions

      • The virus is not a “solution”. It will help lessen the impact of the problem, but at the end of the day the problem is still going to be there.

    • With the water situation here in Australia, which is an extremely dry country, especially in the hinterland, we couldn’t ‘drain’ anything to get rid of the carp. They are buggering up our river eco-systems and destroying native habitat.

      • Just ask Barnaby Joyces mates. They are doing a pretty good job at pumping the Murray Darling dry.

    • what exactly is the problem you see with this ?

      I am assuming you bothered to fact check and read the research before making your opinion ?

    • Sadly it is & they do all they can to deny facts that negatively impact the possible release. If your going to research anything than look at whats happened internationally.

  2. LOL now how many cheaters are going to use this… no honey its a government conspiracy, i was not sleeping around and gave you Herpes, it’s in the water hahahahaha The herpes virus does not survive outside the body for more than about 10 seconds, and although it can survive for slightly longer in warm, damp conditions, it dies very quickly once exposed to the air. However, GHI IS contagious, typically through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area.

    • CyHV-3 can survive upto 4 days on Fishing Equipment, It can be spread from one waterway to another if the equipment is not thoroughly cleaned & disinfected. It can also be spread by Waterbirds, Water held up in Boats, Kayaks & their trailers. The NCCP claim this is not the case but in the last 20 years it has been proven to happen time & time again in the UK & Europe.

    • This option has been researched for over 10 years with no ill effects found to any native species or land animal ( including humans ) what do you suggest as a better safer option for eradicating this pest from our waterways ?

      • I suggest looking at other options that scientists put forward. I suggest trying to find ways to eradicate the problem in a natural way that doesn’t have anything to do with a venereal disease. I suggest going back to the drawing board and coming up with something that is a more effective long term solution.

        • Dear Sue

          (1) what practical safe and cost effective “Natural” solutions do you suggest ?

          (2) Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) is NOT a venereal disease it is waterborne not sexually transmitted.

          (3) how long should we allow our waterways to be polluted and our native fish killed while waiting for an alternative solution ?

          Please if you have a magic wand to make carp go away show it to the CSIRO and they will use it if it works

          If you don’t have a magic wand let people who know what they are doing do their jobs and unless you have a degree in aquatic biology leave the science to the experts.

          • You obviously nothing to offer but criticism and you think you know it all. There needs to be a better option. You run along and play with your Lego.

          • I am just asking you questions

            I have read the research
            I have been following this story for about 10 years now
            I have seen how it has been researched
            I have met some of the scientists involved

            What is your experience ?

            What does your research show ?

          • Commercial Fishing is one of these “Magic” ways we can reduce Carp. It will also Magically create jobs, Create Income, Create Tax while not polluting our waterways, Impacting native species, Impacting water quality or costing us millions every year.

            If your worried about our waterways than we need to be paying more attention to the Natural Flows. Reduce this bloody water theft & irrigation thats draining the river dry. Stop these farmers dumping chemical sprays & fertilisers into the systems that cause things such as Blue Green Algae. Lets stop looking at the result & start looking at the cause. It is not the Carp that have caused the decline in Native Fish stocks. They have filled the gap & made it difficult for natives to recover but they are not the cause of it. NSW DPI & Vic Fish have already been undergoing works to restore natural & environmental flows as well as river rehabilitation by returning snags & vegetation & this work has seen a decrease in Carp numbers & an Increase in Native Numbers for areas this work has been done.

          • Excellent. This is the answer. this is it. It is obvious the carp are an edible fish, not something that is ‘poisoning’ the waterways. The HUGE cotton farms have been taking the water out of the system before the rivers get anywhere near the Murray. the whole cotton thing needs to be re-evaluated, when most of its product can be achieved through other less water-hungry plants such as hemp, flax. the cotton seed oil is also unnecessary for OUR survival. Most of the rivers could always do with some dredging, and the silt used on the land. As Sue says, there must be some other option other than introducing a virus. It’s a ‘myxomatosis’ for fish, and the same insanity was that little idea. Like myxomatosis that ended the idea of producing an enormous market of good protein. Oh, yes, rabbits make holes – in the ground – and all that. But how damn lazy and irresponsible to create a virus for mosquitoes —- oh dear. Australian scientists also created thalidomide – we going to trust the CSIRO scientists unconditionally???

          • Carp are the worlds most eaten fresh water fish & for good reason. They are a soft, sweet fish with high nutritional value including high levels of Omega 3 & other vitamins. They lend themselves beautifully to countless recipes. We Australians are just lazy & dont want to put in the little extra work to properly handle the fish after capture & fillet it so it becomes Boneless. Yet we will eat fish such as Bream that are also full of bones, Bottom feeders & in my opinion do not taste as good. There are Commercial (Electro) Fishermen that have drummed up deals with countries such as China to export up to 2 million tonnes annually yet because our Government wish to release this virus they will not sign any deals with our fishermen. They are holding back Industry, Stopping jobs, Reducing Income & stopping revenue going back into our system in favour of a quick & extremely costly fix as this virus will reappear year after year with more & more mass kills as it spreads its way through every waterway in the country.

  3. I don’t know what people are getting worked up about. This is no different to the myxomatosis and calicivirus released to control rabbit populations. Carp, like rabbits and foxes, are a serious pest and they need to be dealt with. This isn’t the same virus that causes STDs in humans, the word “herpes” refers to an entire clade of viruses that are completely different to each other. Herpes is to viruses what mammals are to animals. Dogs and humans are both mammals but they are completely different creatures. In the same way this form of herpes and the simplex that causes STDs in humans are as different and dogs and people. You cannot contract simplex-bases diseases from this form of the virus, any more than a human can give birth to a dog.

    • Unless it mutates and also this is only effective on 95% or the Carp population, I take it that means the 5% are immune to it it and so will their offspring, so at very best this is a couple of years reprieve with no other option to deal with them afterwards otherwise we would be using that option now

      • It has never mutated in Europe
        it has never mutated during the 10 years testing

        What evidence do you have that it mutates and is a risk ?

        • If it has “Never” mutated than were was it prior to its discovery in 1998? Even Matt Barwick will tell you it has mutated from a similar CyHV-2 version of the virus to become the fatal version it is today. If it has mutated before than it CAN mutate again. It has been found apparently to infect Goldfish & other similar species in the UK but not be fatal to them. They just spread the virus further.

      • That predicted amount seems to be growing daily. The CSIRO report from 2013 predicts 70%max. The rest become immune and reporduce.

  4. How about humans just STOP meddling in every facet of our biosystem? Jeeeezuz the hubris of science, which ain’t nut’n but a religion these days: followed by many, questioned by few.

  5. People all over the world like to eat carp withouot virus of course ! Sell it here for sutable price – 2-3 dollars for kilo – lots of people will buy – carp is zillion times better then cockroaches and other insects scientists try to make us to eat. Also possible to refrigerate – freeze it and export it!

    • Some commercial fishermen have already tried to establish the exporting market with China but due to plans to release this virus the Chinese and other countries dont want to commit to a deal. I know of 1 com fisho looking to loose their home after spending a fortune to set up a processing plant that is near useless now.


    Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) is not harmful to humans or any other animals including other native fish.

    Stop the anti science paranoia, we have a pest species wrecking the environment

    We introduced them, we need to control them.

    There has been more than 10 years research into the release of Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 — (CyHV-3) stop spreading crap

  7. So now its 95%? Funny how the 2012 CSIRO report states 60%-70%. That number seems to be growing daily. Also Carp make upto 90% of the biomass in “SOME” parts of the Murray Darling. In regard to eating carp all you need to do is put them on ice after capture and cut the mud vein out and they are delicious. We also have Electro fishermen with orders of upto 2million tonnes annually to China not to mention a small but growing local market and other countries. The release of the virus IF it goes a head is a very stupid idea. Not only are carp the worlds most eaten freshwater fish but they are one of the most commonly targeted for sport with industry in Wales & England equating to over $1.7billion annually.

  8. Let’s see. We’ll introduce an invasive species to combat another invasive species. What could go wrong?

  9. One of the well known habits of viruses is their natural inclination to mutate. Viruses have an amazing ‘survival instinct’ and their go-to mechanism for this is their ability to mutate. It is well known. This is why there is a new name for each succeeding year’s influenza wave. This is why lab-rat scientists play with fire – Prometheus style – when they stuff around with viruses to release into the environment.

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