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Australian Government to spend $15m on carp control

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European carp are considered the scourge of Australia’s waterways.

Australia’s fishing tackle trade is backing a Federal Government decision to invest $15 million over the next two-and-a-half years to control – and possibly eradicate altogether – European carp from the country’s waterways.

The funding will be used to develop a comprehensive plan aimed at controlling or killing entirely the species with the release of a carp control virus by the end of 2018.

The Managing Director of the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation (ARFF), Alan Hansard, who also holds the same post with the Australian Fishing Tackle Association (AFTA), said: “The Government’s announcement of the National Carp Plan is an essential first step in addressing Australia’s worst established aquatic pest. European carp rival the crown of thorns starfish as an environmental threat and their ability to destroy our aquatic ecosystems.

“They have invaded and dominated our inland river systems for over 30 years and each year their stronghold on our waterways is increasing to the detriment of our native fish species and the health of our waterways.

“The Government’s considered, calculated and carefully measured approach to tackling the problem reflects its commitment to getting the process right and developing a sustainable, long term solution to the problem, an approach we fully support and one Australia’s fishers are willing to help deliver.

“We are pleased that the Government has listened to our calls to address this issue and have committed to comprehensively fighting this pest and win back our unique river systems for our native fish, other aquatic species and for future generations of Australians.

“We are also pleased that the Government realises that the national plan should not only address how to control and remove carp, but how to replace them with our native fish species and also restore the health of our aquatic ecosystems. We see this as essential to a long-erm solution to the problems.”

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