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As we all know, carp don’t enjoy the popularity that they do in Europe in other parts of the world.

In Australia it turns out the “rabbit of the river” could be good for something, with researchers set to consider whether carp scales could be used to generate energy.

It’s part of the National Carp Control Plan’s study into possible uses for the masses of dead carp expected if a proposal to release a carp virus in Australian waterways is approved.

National Carp Control co-ordinator Matt Barwick said research in India had shown when fish scales were bent mechanically, a small electrical charge was created.

The research, by Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, showed the collagen in fish scales had a piezoelectric quality.

Harvesting the energy could power LED lights or small medical devices such as pacemakers.

With carp making up between 80 and 93 per cent of the total weight of fish in some rivers, Mr Barwick said looking at how carp waste could be used under the National Carp Control Plan was essential.

“We’re looking at all the opportunities for using this carp waste, so ideally we can turn one good news story (getting rid of carp) into another one,” Mr Barwick said.

“This is very much about the recognition that, if we go forward with the carp virus, we need to safely and effectively harvest it and dispose of it in ways that ideally don’t mean landfill.” Curtin University has been assigned the carp waste research project.

The decision on whether the carp virus should be deployed in Australia will be made at the end of next year (see ‘Carp virus to be released’ story).

Author: Simon Calvert

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