Biosecurity

Inland Fisheries Ireland recently launched two new biosecurity protocols. These detail the correct procedures that should be taken to disinfect tackle or equipment that could act as a vector in the spread of invasive species or harmful fish pathogens. One is for the ‘Disinfection of Angling Equipment’ and the other describes procedures for the ‘Disinfection of Boats and Boating Equipment’.

The inadvertent introduction and transfer of invasive plants and animals and harmful pathogens represent major threats to Ireland’s habitats, native species and internationally renowned fisheries. The ecology of invaded watercourses can become dramatically altered and may become unsuitable for water-based amenity and recreational pursuits. IFI has already established protocols for disinfection of equipment, clothes and vehicles used for field survey operations conducted by its staff (Biosecurity Protocol for Field Survey Work) and now protocols are being compiled to advise key stakeholder groups and the public of appropriate disinfection procedures.

All angling equipment, protective clothing and footwear, nets, boats and boat engines must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to ensure that no cross-contamination with invasive species or pathogens occurs. IFI appreciates the cooperation and goodwill of stakeholders and the public in adhering to these biosecurity measures as they are essential if we are to effectively halt the spread of harmful pathogens and invasive species.