Carp bowfishing raises concerns
The Baird government has made a decision to allow a trial of the popular US-style hunting activity known as bowfishing in an effort to curb the population of the noxious carp fish.
DPI Game Licensing Unit Director, Dr Andrew Moriarty, said the trial follows a review of recreational saltwater and freshwater fishing rules in 2013, which included the proposal for bowfishing for carp in inland waters.
“Carp are an introduced freshwater species that have been declared a noxious fish in NSW and this pest species can have a significant impact on freshwater ecosystems through their detrimental impacts on native fish, aquatic plants, erosion and water quality.”
(image: Cyprinus carpio carpio (European carp) on the dry bed of Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia)
Ecologists have have expressed concerns about the difficulty in distinguishing carp from wildlife or native fish species, especially in turbid waters. Wildlife such as the platypus, the native water rat, the water dragon, turtles and diving birds could be mistaken for carp. They would be considered “collateral damage” or dismissed as “by-catch” and these accidents not reported!
“It really is just an extension of hunting activities and in this particular case we really think the risks certainly outweigh the benefits, if any.“We certainly think it’s something that in this day and age is just unnecessary.” He said carp and platypus were often mistaken.
(featured image: "Platypus" by Stefan Kraft - Selbst fotografiert am 20.9.2004 im Sydney Aquarium.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons )