May 9, 2016

Carp

When carp were first introduced into Australia in the mid-19th century, acclimatizing settlers hoped the freshwater fish would bring a taste of home to their food and recreational activity down under. Today, these pests are running riot across the country's waterways, seriously compromising the health of its rivers and native species. The Australian government is now moving to cut populations through the controlled release of carp-specific herpes virus, which it says is capable of killing individual fish off within 24 hours.

The Murray-Darling Basin stretches through Australia's eastern states, covering 14 percent of its total land area and his home to 57 different species of freshwater fish. But with the ability to endure a range of aquatic habitats, carp has bred wildly in the past 40 years. So much so, that it now makes up as much as 90 percent of fish biomass in certain rivers within the Murray-Darling Basin.

Photo:  Once the carp are infected with CyHV-3, the virus multiplies over the next seven days or so.

As it it poses an increasing threat to the well-being of native species in the region, Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been researching a biocontrol agent to try and reduce numbers.

"Because of the way carp feed, where they feed on either plant life or small invertebrates in the mud at the bottom of the river, they suck in an amount of material from the river bed and spit it out, sifting out the food that they want," Dr Ken McColl, CSIRO Head Researcher at the Australian Animal Health Laboratories Carp Control Team, explains to Gizmag.

"So this process means that the water becomes very, very muddy and unclear, and that then stops plant life from growing because they can't get enough light," continues McColl. "It also upsets some of the invertebrate life, it upsets the breeding of some of the native fish species and because all of these things happen, it actually has impacts further up the line. So you stop getting a lot of bird life coming to the waters like ducks that feed on the plants, for example."

It is with a healthy hint of irony that the panacea to Australia's carp problem may come via a virus that has caused monumental damage in other parts of the world. While carp is an unwanted pest in Australia, it is actually an important source of protein in much of Asia, Eastern Europe and parts of the Middle East. So when the Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) appeared in Israel in 1998 and swept across carp farms killing off large portions of livestock, it spelled bad news for many. But in countries where carp pose a problem, there was perhaps a silver lining.

"It's what I sort of call the yin and the yang of this virus really," says McColl. "It has good and bad effects, good and bad sides. For Australia it is viewed as a potential white knight to help us clean up our river systems."

McColl and his team have been investigating CyHV-3 as a potential biocontrol agent since 2008. This has meant assessing the effect the virus might have on other species that live in the same water as the carp. He tells us they have conducted experiments on 13 different species that live in these waters and have found no evidence that the virus causes any disease, or that it even multiplies in those fish. His team has three remaining species to assess before the virus is released.

"We feel pretty confident that it is very safe," says McColl.

Once carp are infected with CyHV-3, the virus multiplies over the next seven days or so. Then over a period of about 24 hours, it damages the kidneys, skin and gills and hinders the fish's ability to breathe and prevent water entering its body, causing it to die thereafter.

With the economic impact of carp in Australia estimated at AU$500 million (US$380 million) per year, the Australian Government has just launched a AU$15 million (US$11.5) National Carp Control Plan to tackle the problem. This will cover the implementation of the carp herpes virus, which it estimates will kill 95 percent of carp in the river system according to the ABC, along other complementary measures as well.

"We are looking at a window of somewhere between two and four years where the virus will really knock the carp down, before they start recovering again," says McColl. "As they start recovering we are going to want to use a variety of local, regional methods for control, like carp cages, netting to stop carp getting access to breeding grounds and physically hauling carp out of shallow lakes and ponds with nets, all the sorts of things that have been used in the past."

This is the short-term outlook, but the long term view is a little more tricky. McColl expects that over time carp will develop some form of immunity to CyHV-3. But just as nature provided the answers in the past, he anticipates it will do the same in the future.

"We could work in the lab on producing a new virus but that's probably going to be looked at as a genetically modified virus and so it's probably not going to be acceptable," he says. "But we can look for new generations of the same virus from overseas where the virus occurs naturally in other countries, and we'll get the new generations from over there and bring them back to Australia, and they should be more potent for us here than the one we have at the moment."

Because CyHV-3 can only grow in temperatures ranging from about 16 to 28 degrees Celsius (61 to 82.4° F), McColl says using the virus to control carp in other locations where their populations are out of control, such as the US, could be complicated. But he says neighboring New Zealand, though its carp problem is not of the same magnitude, has been following his team's work closely and might one day follow Australia's lead.

"They'd be happy to see it being used here and know that they could pull it out of their back pocket if they need to in the future," he says.

Story and image courtesy www.gizmag.com

Source: CSIRO

 

Destinations

  • Prev
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) invites all sailors to join a cruising rally from the ...
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...
Last January we ran a short piece on the motor boat A Great Story which had been restored by the ...
The Moorings has just announced the launch of its newest Caribbean destination, Antigua. 
Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...

How to be as Polite as a Canadian at Gulf Island Marine Park Anchorages

Gulf Island Marine ParkStory and photos by Catherine Dook

One summer I sold ice cream and knick-knacks at Montague Harbour Marina. I was standing behind the counter one day, when the phone rang. “There’s a boat at anchor in the middle of the bay that’s been playing loud music for three hours,” complained an irate-sounding male voice. “Can you make them stop?”

“Um, no,” I replied. “The marina has no jurisdiction over the anchorage. Besides, my only weapon is a till.” The man hung up on me.

Now when you think about it, you can understand why the poor fellow was annoyed.

Read more about the Gulf Island Marine Park.....

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
We were all set with this week’s POTW when a real stunner came in as part of a story on the Blind ...
Have your say. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need ...
When I was about ten years old I starting racing sailboats on Cape Cod and the sound of the wind ...
I took this photo in July 2017 from our boat Ginger which was anchored and stern tied in Mouat Bay ...
Were we nervous when we returned to Adamant 1 in November? The answer would be a hearty yes. The ...
Just to put it in historical time warp I was a World Sailing Vice President 1976-1994 and President ...
Great icicles! This is not what one expects from the tropical climes of BC. It’s a nice winter ...
Rossiter is a Canadian builder in Markdale, Ontario that builds a nice fleet of rowboats and small ...
Welcome to Photo of the Week 2018. If you are not familiar with this wonderful feature (What???!!!) ...
Living the dream! Longtime CY staffer and now blogger Lynn Lortie with her husband Pat left Midland ...
Canadian Yachting Digital April 2018

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
Once again, the designers at Jeanneau have outdone themselves with the innovative new Leader 10.5 ...
The introduction of X-Yachts’Xc range in 2008 has proven itself to be something of a game changer ...
Hull #1 ZINNIA, the all-new, twin outboard MJM 35z left Boston BoatWorks on July 5 for Newport and ...
Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching ...
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...

 

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 42

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 42By John Armstrong and Andy Adams 

The latest new model from Cruisers Yacht sis the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the fall of 2017, at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. We had the pleasure of going all through this newest Cantius there and clearly, the Cruisers Yachts people continue to refine and expand on all the features that have made the Cantius line such a success.

The new 42 continues the Cantius family resemblance with handsome and distinctive lines including a big section of hull side glazing port and starboard that makes the full-beam mid-ship master stateroom feel very bright and open.

Read more about the Cruisers Yachts Cantius 42...

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...
Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
We have all had the experience of heading down below on a nice boat only to encounter an unpleasant ...
Last year when this column launched a good deal of time was spent understanding global satellite ...
This article was my first about 10 years ago, and it found it's way to an outdoor editor/writer ...
For a gloomy February we look not only at how an app that works within your phone can be of benefit ...
ZCare Marine, offers effective, eco-safe products to help keep your boat clean. They have products ...
Monaro Marine Ltd. of Richmond, BC, designs and builds its own unique brand of semi-custom 21' to ...
With Garmin it is now possible to use both devices without independently operating two devices with ...
When the Halifax Boat Show opens on February 8th there will be an excellent selection of pontoon ...
The 627 is the largest outboard in world. New cylinder heads and camshaft, an uprated ...
Sirius Signal held a product information session for interested parties prior to demonstrating ...