Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Optimising an integrated pest-management strategy for a spatially structured population of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) using meta-population modelling

Paul Brown A B D and Dean Gilligan C

A Fisheries Management and Science Branch, Fisheries Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries. PO Box 114, Queenscliff, Vic. 3225, Australia.

B Present address: The Murray–Darling Freshwater Research Centre and La Trobe University, PO Box 3428, Mildura, Vic. 3501, Australia.

C NSW Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries NSW, Level 1, Suite 8, Braysyth Building, Corner of Beach Road and Orient Street, Batemans Bay, NSW 2536, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: paul.brown@latrobe.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(6) 538-550 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13117
Submitted: 8 May 2013  Accepted: 1 October 2013   Published: 7 May 2014

Abstract

To evaluate strategies within a carp-control plan, we developed a meta-population model of the geographic arrangement, biological connections and ‘unfished’ stock structure of the pest population of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in a large river catchment. The model was tuned to recent observations of biomass. Published data were used to estimate sampling biases and yield from available carp-control tools. We simulated proposed carp-removal activities and also the potential effects of biological-control options; cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CHV-3) and daughterless-carp gene technology. Outputs compared the population abundance before carp control (before 2009) and after a ~70-year period of sustained management. Models suggest that the proposed levels of carp removal may reduce biomass by ~50%. Although substantial, this control level may not be sufficient to reduce carp biomass densities below thresholds associated with ecological damage. In contrast, a CHV-3 bio-control program has potential to reduce carp biomass densities to, or exceeding, target levels, if mortality rates exceed 30% and broad-scale outbreaks occur in at least 40% of years, despite the likely development of resistance. A synergistic bio-control program using CHV-3, followed by a gene technology-based sex-ratio distortion program, is potentially the most effective strategy for reducing carp biomass by over 90% in the long term.

Additional keywords: Australia, CarpSim, IPM, Lachlan River, Murray–Darling River basin, pest fish.


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