Floods drive cull call
Widespread flooding has prompted new calls for a carp cull in the Murray-Darling.
With significant La Niña flooding in the basin area, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) populations are booming.
Experts say carp now account for up to 90 per cent of live fish mass in some rivers.
This has prompted some to call for a return to a previous plan to unleash the carp herpes virus to control populations.
But scientists and other authorities warn that the decision cannot be undone, and should not be rushed.
In November, the federal government publicly released its National Carp Control Plan, which calls for more research and planning before releasing a carp herpes virus.
The carp virus has been detected in more than 30 countries, but not in Australia. While many would welcome the relatively simple method to wipe out the species, there are some major concerns about any release of the virus in Australian waters.
Any plan must also include measures to clean up dead carp, and deal with the potentially significant reductions of water quality and native fish.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has told reporters that common carp are one of the worst introduced species impacting freshwater ecosystems across Australia, but further research and stakeholder consultation on the carp herpes virus is a process that will take several years to complete.