#INLAND WATERWAYS - Inland Fisheries Ireland has reiterated its call for assistance in stopping the spread of the invasive Asian clam.
It comes just weeks after the fisheries body was alerted to a reported sighting of the highly invasive species in the Grand Canal at Pollagh in Co Offaly.
The bivalve mollusc is regarded as "one of the most notorious aquatic invasive species in the world", and poses a "major threat to Ireland's habitats, native species and internationally renowned fisheries."
The clam is already firmly established in the River Nore downstream of Inistioge and in the lower Barrow, where it has achieve a "staggering" density of almost 10,000 per square metre, and populations have also been recorded in the River Shannon and in Lough Derg.
IFI warns: "Considering that each clam can produce up to 70,000 juveniles each year, the potential for the enormous expansion of this population is apparent."
In order to limit the further spread of the Asian clam, IFI is urging all water users, particularly anglers and boaters, to implement strict biosecurity measures, including disinfecting all equipment that has been exposed to or used in waterways when moving from one area to another.
Further information on these measures can be found on the website for CAISIE, the Control of Aquatic Invasive Species in Ireland programme, and on the IFI website. Any new sightings of the Asian clam should be reported to IFI immediately.