PCFA (Professional Coarse Fisheries Association)

The UK’s leading professional body for coarse fishery owners


Fishery owners urged to re-think over carp stocking


The Professional Coarse Fisheries Association is advising fishery owners to consider delaying stocking their lakes and pools with Koi Herpesvirus (KHv) vaccinated carp until the European Union grants a licence for the vaccine.


The advice comes following a committee meeting of the PCFA at which members felt that fisheries which stock with KHV vaccinated fish could be running the risk of introducing the virus until more is known about the effectiveness of the vaccination. As a precautionary measure, the Association is recommending that it would be better to wait until the vaccination is given EU approval for use in the UK.


The PCFA also pointed out that even when imported carp are vaccinated against KHV, the initial protection is thought to be effective only for a relatively short period, which may last less than a year. Thereafter, fish need to be given a booster vaccination, something which cannot be performed in the UK as there is currently no licence for this procedure.


A PCFA spokesman said: “The Association also backs the Environment Agency recommendations that ornamental fish should not be stocked as KHv has been a major problem in the ornamental trade”.


The spokesman added: “Defra has admitted that there are still question marks over vaccinated fish and CEFAS have stated that the latency theory is not proven.  As a result, we are advising fishery owners not to introduce such carp which may be potentially infected until the doubts have been removed.  There is still no test that distinguishes a vaccinated fish from an infected one”.


To help limit the spread of the KHv killer carp virus, the PCFA is issuing its 50-plus member fisheries with the Environment Agency’s ’10 Point Guide’ to reducing the spread of KHv.  It is also posting the guide on its website at www.pcfa.co.uk.


The Association has also called on anglers to play their part in combating the spread of the disease by reporting any suspicious fish kills to fishery owners and by ensuring they take only dry nets to fisheries.  Even then they should ensure that their nets are properly dipped in disinfectant and then washed before starting to fish.