Australia plans to tackle one of its biggest environmental challenges with herpes.
You heard that right. This year’s federal budget, formally announced by Australia Tuesday, includes funding for an initiative to release herpes into the continent’s Murray-Darling Basin to eradicate carp. The invasive species suck in and spit out mud as they eat, muddying the water and damaging the ecosystem, a wildlife expert explained to Gizmag.
Australia will spend $15 million on the program, the BBC said, a small expense compared to the $500 million the government says it now spends yearly dealing with the problem. The money will largely go towards financing the cleanup of thousands of dead fish.
The virus will take about a week to kill off the carp, according to the Guardian. Scientists, who have been testing the pathogen for years, don’t expect to affect other fish or humans.
Intentionally introducing the herpes virus into public waters – what could possibly go wrong?