Trouble Brewing in the Waters : Australia's European Carp Invasion

Trouble Brewing in the Waters : Australia's European Carp Invasion

Carp Invasion

Australia has always been home to a large amount of native fish, however after European settlement in Victoria, ideas were hatched to turn the country more “European”, and hence the idea to bring a variety of European animals and fish came about. While most people are aware of foxes, rabbits and livestock, what many people who aren't involved in fishing don't realise is, in the vast majority of Australian waterways, there is by far the highest quantity of foreign species compared to native.

The problems began with the introduction of the redfin perch from Europe in 1850, and not long after the European fish known as Tench, a more predatory natured type of carp, was introduced. These two fish spread rapidly through the Murray darling river system, and caused a drop of around 50% of all native fish populations, before stabilising for over 100 years.

While tench and redfin stabilised without doing irreversible damage to the environment and native fish species, around 1960, people began to notice European carp had appeared in a few waterways. By 1970, almost every water body in the south of Australia was infested with carp, with their numbers multiplying 10 fold every 10 years. Australia now faces a European Carp invasive species crisis, the numbers are out of control, even when European Carp harvesting occurs on the Murray river between Victoria and New South Wales, this rarely has any effect on their total numbers.

Another problem too is that the government once relied heavily upon recreational anglers to target and remove the species from the water, the only issue with that is Australians don't have a history of carp fishing like the Europeans do, Australia is more of a coastal fishing nation, and only targets edible species primarily. Since Australians rarely eat carp also, this means that the last thing most people want on their hook is a European Carp.

Fishermen however do enjoy fishing for tench and redfin, and both these species are edible, the good thing for anglers is that they can be caught using redfin fishing lures, while European carp will rarely attack a lure, the same can't be said for live bait such as worms. Native species in Australia also target fishing lures, so for most fishermen, catching a carp isn't a common occurrence unless using a live or dead bait, artificial baits and lures simply are not attractive to European carp, due to their instinctive feeding habits.

European carp mostly feed by laying on the bottom of the water, sucking up the dirt and debris on the bottom, where they find their food. Whether that be baby yabbies (freshwater crayfish), baby freshwater shrimp, freshwater snails, worms or vegetation. Their instinctive nature to upturn the bottom of the waterways dislodges most plant life and also strips the lower river bed layer of breeding ground for native fish to reproduce. Already many freshwater snail species have perished along with certain species of freshwater shrimp, relegated to the extinction list, the Murray Cod and other Australian fish also find it extremely difficult to reproduce when carp is the dominant species in the waters.

The Australian government plans to tackle this issue by releasing what is known as the Carp Herpes Virus, this virus has been shown to affect no other creatures except carp, however the government has not yet mentioned how it will handle the biggest effect of releasing this virus, the cleanup.

Most European Carp can have up to 1 million young each breeding season, so by far the highest biomass in the rivers of South Eastern Australia are European Carp. When these fish die, they float to the top then begin to decompose, this releases toxic ammonia into the water, and if too many fish are decomposing at once, this toxic ammonia can take months to be broken down by bacteria in the water which feed off it, meaning that the country could end up with a few months of completely toxic and oxygen deprived waterways.

So will this solution kill off all the carp? Estimates state that around 90% will be killed off by releasing this virus. What we haven't been told is, if toxic ammonia is not controlled by immediately removing the dead carp from every inch of water around the country, will the native species even have any chance of survival?

Many fish keepers know the effects of ammonia, and it is common knowledge that the ideal level of ammonia in the water for fish to survive and be healthy is a level of absolute zero. Fish can handle up to a week of mild ammonia before it affects them, but if suddenly all the rivers biomass turns to ammonia, most anglers and scientists are beginning to agree that there is a high chance the release of this virus may do much more harm than good.

While the Australian Government and other agencies consult as to the effects of the release of this virus, we hope that they understand fully what they are doing, and the consequences that the country may face in terms of native species extinction, if this idea goes horribly wrong.

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out:

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

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16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

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19. I volunteer at...

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20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When You Decide You Don't Love Me Anymore

I'll forgive you.


I never thought I would write this, but I feel like I have to: there will come a day where you won't love me anymore. This won't be a sad day, but instead a day I have waited for all along. You see, they all leave and that is perfectly okay. People may not be meant to be in my life for all of it, not in any of our lives but this is normal and although initially saddening it is a part of our lives and inevitably part of our journey.

When this time comes I want you to know that we did our best, that we were in fact in love once and that we had hoped it would blossom into a lifetime commitment but it didn't and I accept that and will respect you always. I know you did not wake up one day out of the blue and stop loving me, I know this feeling grew over time in your heart and that it was not something you planned on. I respect this.

You were the only person I trusted and the one I loved the most, but nothing lasts forever and I hope you can understand there is no animosity here and certainly, no stone left unturned. We just are not those kinds of people, we would have tried everything to keep our love burning bright and tried for quite a while to understand where the cracks began so that could fix them, it just isn't that simple. Love is a long complicated process, you know that and falling in love with me couldn't have been easy, I am misunderstood and stubborn as all hell and I am FULLY aware of that but that does not mean I didn't try to ease up on you, I promise I did my best.

I have always done my best to understand you, to make you happy, to keep the flame alive, but it has been extinguished. Love does that sometimes, it is there one day burning bright and then it slowly starts to dim with every fight, every unrequited "I love you" and every day passing by in which we spoke less and less about the things that mattered and more and more about worthless things.

This is all okay, it is a season of life, a part of our lives in which we do suffer but one we must grin and bear. I want you to know that I will always love and care for you, although it is now in a much different way, now we no longer look at each other with doting eyes and open hearts but instead with the freedom to let go and move on.

It is time for us to go on with our lives and find a new adventure, one that will light our hearts on fire instead of continuing to snuff our joint flame. You will always be in my memory and a huge part of my life that I once had but I accept that it's over and that time sometimes wears on things as it has worn on us.

You are the love of my life and that is truly the reason I must forgive you.

Goodbye, my love.

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