RESEARCHERS at Curtin University in Western Australia have found that dead carp could be used successfully in a range of ways, from fertiliser to feed.
This could help use the large amounts of dead carp, which would be generated if the all governments in Australia decided to introduce the carp virus to control this pest fish.
Carp (Cyprinus carpio) completely dominate freshwater fish communities in south eastern Australia.
The impacts are felt environmentally, economically and socially. Carp affect water quality, native fish, fishing and irrigation.
The study investigated various utilisation options which could also be applied more broadly to deal with fish waste and found that converting carp into compost and liquid hydrolysate fertiliser are both potentially viable.
“Composting trials of up to 40 tonnes showed that the dead carp could effectively be used to produce a safe, nutrient rich compost for application in agriculture and horticulture. This is a viable option on both local and large scale alike,” Curtin University lead researcher Dr Janet Howieson said.
National Carp Control Plan coordinator Jamie Allnutt said fermentative hydrolysis for making fertiliser and using carp as an input for vermiculture had been shown to be technically viable for smaller community-based applications.
The study also investigated, at small scale, the use of decomposing carp as feed for black soldier fly larvae, used to supplement fish feed in small scale aquaculture trials.
Using the nutrient rich water which results from carp processing to act as input for biogas production was also considered.
During the study, it became obvious that commercial operators are open to exploring carp utilisation options.
This research project is an important part of the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP). The NCCP is a $10.2 million program led by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, on behalf of the Australian Government. It aims to address two questions: Is it feasible to release the carp virus to control carp? If so, what is the most effective way to release and manage the virus?
The NCCP will be delivered to the Australian Government in late December 2019. The Australian Government will then decide on the next steps.
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