Press release June 1st, 2012
Inland Fisheries Ireland Respond to Invasive Species Alert on the Grand Canal
On Wednesday 23th May Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) was informed by Waterways Ireland of a reported sighting of the highly invasive Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) in the Grand Canal near Pollagh in Co .Offaly. The Asian clam was first reported in Ireland in the lower River Barrow in 2010 and has already caused serious ecological problems for the infested sections of this important river. Because of the obvious threat posed for biodiversity and navigation by this non-native species, scientists from the Invasive Species Section in Swords immediately implemented IFI’s Rapid Reaction Protocol and put in place plans to intensively survey the Grand Canal in the vicinity of the reported sighting.
On Thursday 24th May a detailed boating survey of the Grand Canal in the vicinity of Pollagh was conducted by IFI scientific staff. The survey covered the entire section of canal between the 31st and 32nd Locks (approximately 15. 5 km in length) and corresponded to the location from which the clam was originally reported. Hundreds of individual sites within this canal section were examined in detail for the presence of Asian clams. Canal substrate from the margins and from the mid-channel area was collected and thoroughly examined to determine if adult or juvenile clams were present. No Asian clam specimens or shells were recorded by the IFI team during this survey operation.
Notes to Editor
Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and was established under the Fisheries Act 1st July 2010. Its principal functions are to advise the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on policy relating to the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries and sea angling.