Investigating Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 as a potential biocontrol agent for carp – International study tour

Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are among the eight most invasive fish species in the world, make up a high percentage of fish biomass in many Australian waterways, and are now found in all states and territories with the exception of the Northern Territory.

Eight years of research conducted by CSIRO with funding through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has shown a naturally occurring virus now occurring within 33 countries known as cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (hereafter referred to as the carp herpesvirus or CyHV-3) to offer potential as a biological control agent for carp in Australia. This research has demonstrated that under the right conditions carp present in Australia are susceptible to CyHV-3, and that the virus will not cause disease in non-target species.

The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Primary Industries delivered a parallel project also funded under the Invasive Animals CRC to develop a biological control strategy for carp, progress requisite government approvals, and establish scientifically robust ecological benchmarks to enable assessment of recovery of freshwater habitats in response to carp biocontrol. An international study tour was undertaken in June 2015 to address key knowledge gaps associated with the potential use of the carp herpesvirus for the biological control of carp in Australia. Objectives of the study tour were to:

  1. advance development of a biosecurity plan for koi producers
  2. Inform development of an effective and cost-efficient post-release clean-up strategy
  3. Collect information on long-term effects of outbreaks on wild carp populations
  4. Determine rate of decline in carp immune response
  5. Confirm progress and timeframes for development of an inactive vaccine for the carp
  6. Gather any information to assist in evaluating human health implications

A program of meetings was arranged with researchers, fisheries managers and industry representatives in Indonesia, the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and Japan with knowledge of CyHV-3, its effectiveness on the target species and strategies for preventing undesirable impacts. Key outcomes delivered through the study tour, and activities undertaken to pursue each outcome are discussed in this document, and recommendations are summarised within the report.

This work was funded as part of an Invasive Animals CRC project between 2012-2017 as part of the Australian Government CRC funding program.

Secondary title International study tour
Author Matt Barwick
Secondary Author Dean Gilligan
Date 16/10/2018
Year 2018
Publisher Centre for Invasive Species Solutions
Pages 24
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-925727-07-4
Links Investigating Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 as a potential biocontrol agent for carp  [2 Mb PDF]