Australia considers alien carp exports

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An Australian fisherman may have solved the problem of how the country can speed up the eradication of non-native Common carp from its waters: export them to Europe for the ornamental fish trade.

At the moment, any carp caught must be killed and can't be shipped inside or outside Australia without the necessary exemptions.

According to a report by ABC, former professional gill-netter Tony Smith of Berri, Australia, who is one of only six people licensed by the State to remove carp from its waters, he could make ten times as much if he exports fish alive, rather than killing them.

Smith told ABC: "I mean, it's a whole new ball game rather than catching carp and killing it and throwing it up on the bank to get rid of it, let's turn it into a valuable commodity and there is a significant opportunity to do that with some assistance."

Smith wants to set up a trial by exporting some carp to Europe, but is likely to face legislative and quarantine problems along the way.

Australia is going to great lengths to try to eradicate non-native Common carp and Koi, Cyprinus carpio, from its waters, including the use of GM technology.

This isn't the first time someone has seen a potential business model in Australia's fishes. PFK reported a similar story several years ago of one man who wished to export metre long Koi from the region.