Carpageddon Is Australia's Plan to Wipe Out Fish Species by Releasing Herpes Into Water


No, carpageddon is not a bad remake of Armageddon, where a giant carp replaces an Earth-driven asteroid. Rather, it's an Australian government program to eradicate invasive carp, led by prime minister Barnaby Joyce, that went into effect on Monday, CNN reported. 

The fish species was first introduced in Australia in 1859 and really became an ecological problem in the 1960s, CNN reported. Now, it's estimated that they cost the country $400 million a year.  

The plan behind Carpageddon would also make for a strange sci-fi plot too. To wipe out the carp species, the Australian government will release a form of herpes, cyprinid herpesvirus, into its waterways by 2018.

The virus wouldn't affect humans, according to the BBC.  

Stefan Postles/Getty Images

Joyce called carp "disgusting, bottom-dwelling, mud-sucking creatures," according to CNN. While those words might be considered harsh, carp has negatively impacted Australia's environment and economy by increasing erosion and also threatening the habitat and the survival of other native fish. In Australia's agricultural Murray-Darling Basin, carp account for almost 90% of the fish biomass, BBC reported. 

"Suddenly, there will be literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of tons of carp that will be dead in the River Murray," Science Minister Christopher Pyne said, according to BBC. 

Read more: The Thing That Washed Up on an Australian Beach Proves That Monsters Are Real