Carp herpes virus in River Murray will be meeting topic at Mannum

Photo: File.
Photo: File.

The proposed release of a carp virus into the River Murray will be the topic of a public meeting at Mannum on Monday night.

The National Carp Control Program has been looking at ways of controlling carp, the most destructive introduced species present in the river system, to improve water quality and help native species.

The release of cyprinid herpesvirus three was flagged as a leading option when Christopher Pyne, then the federal Science Minister, announced the program in Murray Bridge in 2016.

Program coordinator Matt Barwick said Monday night's meeting would give community members an update on the carp control program's work and allow people to ask questions or provide feedback.

"While these community briefing sessions are important for us to share the background, context and desired outcomes of the NCCP, they also provide an opportunity to hear from community members about how the prevalence of carp impacts on them, their lifestyle or business," he said.

"We want to work collaboratively with the local community, as healthy river systems and waterways result in healthier communities.

"We want to learn more about how people use the affected river systems and waterways and work with communities to consider potential direct or indirect impacts – be it social, environmental, economic or cultural – that may eventuate."

The Mannum meeting will be held between 6pm and 8pm at Mannum Motel, on the corner of Randell and Cliff Streets.

A workshop for natural resource management and other "stakeholder groups" will take place during the day.

Dozens of similar meetings have been held across the Murray-Darling Basin since October, including at Goolwa in December.

Another meeting will follow at the South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron at West Beach, Adelaide, on Tuesday night.

The proposal to eliminate carp has been widely welcomed in the Murraylands, but those who work on the river and Lower Lakes have raised concerns about how the dead fish would be cleaned up and whether native species could be indirectly harmed by the mass killing.

A Meningie have suggested a commercial carp harvest could be a viable alternative.

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