After scaring off Johnny Depp’s dogs, Australia’s irrepressible Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is taking on a new target– carp.
Announcing his master plan to eliminate the fish breed from the face of Australia, Joyce unveiled an ethnic cleansing programme called “Carpageddon.”
The $15 million action plan seeks to unleash Herpes virus into the rivers to kill carp, reports CNN. The cyprinid herpesvirus will be spewed into Australian waterways by 2018.
Describing the pest fish as “disgusting, bottom-dwelling, mud-sucking creatures,” in his spirited rant, Barnaby Joyce sent the lower house of parliament in peals of laughter. He claimed that the economic damage inflicted by carp is costing $400 million dollars a year.
Introduced to Australia in 1859 from Europe, carp became a problem in the 1960s after a certain strain of female carp began producing millions of eggs per year to “breed like rabbits.”
With toothless jaws, carp feeds at the bottom of rivers, causing erosion and turbidity of water and destroys water quality.
As a pest fish, carp is unsuitable for eating with many people describing its taste as mud-like. But it is a true fun for sports fishing.
According to government sources, carp is threatening other species particularly the native fish by depriving them of food and resources. As a result, a number of native fish is displaced in their own habitat and facing extinction.
The CSIRO also highlighted the carp menace and called it the “most invasive and damaging pests” of Australia’s freshwater ecosystems.
The “carp-problem” has been further highlighted by Christopher Pyne, Minister for Industry, and Science, who said: “The common carp is a nasty pest in our waterways and makes up 80 percent of the fish biomass in the Murray-Darling Basin.”
Minister Pyne assured that the carp virus would not affect humans although the clean-up would be a challenge as thousands of carp will die from the virus attack.