Inland Fisheries Ireland disappointed by findings of new EPA water quality report
Agency cautions against singling out one particular cause of water standards fall
Thursday, 31st of August 2017: Following the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality review today, Inland Fisheries Ireland has expressed its disappointment at the findings.
“From an ecological and angling-tourism perspective, our rivers and lakes are vital national resources”, said Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland. “It is essential that we protect and conserve these assets and water quality has a significant impact on fisheries habitats and populations.”
The agency has cautioned against singling out any particular sector for the standard in water quality across Ireland’s river basins and lakes, backing the EPA’s findings that ‘multiple factors’ are at play.
According to the EPA report, the total number of reported fish kills in 2013–2015 was 97, an increase in fish kills compared to 2007–2009 and 2010–2012. In several instances of fish kills, the exact cause was unknown and several influences may have played a part.
“There were 31 separate fish kills across the country last year,” added Dr Ciaran Byrne, “but just eight of those were directly attributable to agricultural activities. Inland Fisheries Ireland is grateful to the farming community for their continued consideration and vigilance. Good farmyard management can help to prevent accidental runs of polluting substances and protect the local environment.”
In addition to the agricultural related kills, two fish kills were as a result of municipal works and one by industrial works. In four instances, the exact cause of the fish kill was difficult to ascertain while 16 incidents of fish kills were as a result of disease and natural causes.
Inland Fisheries Ireland carried out over 22,000 environmental inspections in 2016 across industrial, forestry, engineering, water treatment, farmyards and wind farms sites to help identify any risks and prevent damage to the local aquatic habitat.
The organisation also has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing – 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is the agency responsible for the conservation, protection, management, marketing, development and improvement of Ireland’s inland fisheries and sea angling resources. For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.
For media information:
T: 353 (0) 1 8842675
Notes to Editors:
What can farmers do to reduce pollution risks?
Inland Fisheries Ireland is advising farmers to follow its simple six point plan to ensure good farmyard management and reduce their risk of polluting:
- Use round bales as the most environmentally friendly way to store silage.
- If a silage pit is being used, ensure it is properly sealed to prevent leakage from under the slab.
- Carry out slurry spreading in dry weather and never when heavy rain is forecast.
- Never spread slurry close to a watercourse, be aware of the slope of land to the watercourse.
- Do not clean tanks beside any watercourse, stream or a river.
- Do not allow any effluent or washings to enter any rainwater gully.
About Inland Fisheries Ireland
Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.