QUESTIONS are being asked over the impact of the release of the carp herpes virus on local water supplies.
It comes as the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP) holds a series of stakeholder and community workshops in key regional locations throughout Australia to seek understanding from community members on the prevalence of carp in local waterways, how waterways are utilised by the community, and the benefits or impacts of potential carp reduction.
In Tamworth on Wednesday night, more than 30 people rolled out to one of 82 workshops across the country.
“There was a really good cross-section of the community,” NCCP co-ordinator Matt Barwick said.
“We know from social research that most people are interested in the clean-up after the possible virus release.
“For example, how it’s going to affect water quality.
“Research shows that dead carp do impact water quality, but it’s a matter of scale, so the number of carp is important, and it’s not the same for all habitats.”
The workshops form part of the Coalition’s $15 million commitment to reduce carp by 95 per cent by 2045.
The plan outlines the intended release of a carp-specific biological control virus to achieve that goal at an acceptable cost.
The earliest possible release date for carp herpes virus is late 2018.
Researchers from five states are collaborating to develop an international best-practice method to determine the total biomass of carp in Australia’s waterways.
Mr Barwick said the group was halfway through its 82 meetings across the country.
“There’s been really good turnouts, really high engagement,” he said.
“There was some really provoking questions and an overwhelming level of optimism about the research.
“It’s important that people realise this is a process, not a conclusion.”
The total biomass of carp in our waterways is estimated between 500,000 and 2 million tonnes.
The community forums provide an opportunity to discuss the NCCP process and allow people to have input into the development of the final recommendation.
To find out more about the workshops, visit www.carp.gov.au