Redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis, is a voracious predator and carrier of the epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus, P. fluviatilis poses a severe threat to many native fish species. Although this species has become widespread since its initial introduction, the distribution falls short of its full potential. Therefore, opportunity remains to contain its spread, preventing incursions into new locations and thereby conserving remnant populations of native fishes. Preventing P. fluviatilis becoming established in new areas, however, relies on detecting the species at low densities.
We developed a species-specific assay to detect redfin perch in Australia. We showed that the assay is highly sensitive and highly specific to detect the species in Australian freshwater environments and demonstrated the utility of the assay for detecting the species from environmental water samples. This assay has already proved useful for low-density detection redfin perch where it was used to detect the extent of new incursion, into the habitat of a highly threatened native species.
This assay is now available to assist in the management of this invader.