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Farmer Pleads Guilty To Pollution Causing Carlow Fish Kill

31st January 2014
Farmer Pleads Guilty To Pollution Causing Carlow Fish Kill

#FishKill - A Carlow farmer has pleaded guilty to the accidental discharge of 'deleterious matter' into the River Burren at Cloontoose on 10 June last year, resulting in a fish kill that cost as many as 5,000 brown trout.

At a sitting of the District Court at Carlow Court House on Thursday 2 January, Judge O’Brien awarded costs of €2,135 to Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and ordered that the farmer pay a contribution for habitat works.

The incident related to the release of fungicide to the river during the filling a a crop sprayer.

Donnachadh Byrne, senior fisheries environmental officer with IFI, told Judge O’Brien that following receipt of a fish kill report from Carlow County Council on Monday 10 June, IFI carried out investigations on the River Burren and had established that the fish kill extended over 4.2km with an estimate of 4,000-5,000 dead brown trout.

Giving details of sampling and analysis undertaken, Byrne confirmed that samples of dead fish taken from the Burren River when sent for analysis were found to have elevated concentrations of Pyraclostrobin, one of the main active ingredients of the fungicide Lumen, used to treat barley or oats, which was being used by the defendant.

The court was informed that the spillage of fungicides to the Burren River was accidental and related to a non-return valve which upon later inspection was found to be faulty,

These facts were acknowledged by IFI, who also confirmed that the defendant was fully co-operative at all times during the investigation.

The Burren River fish kill which extended over 4.2 kilometres, related to a relatively small discharge of pesticide to the Burren River.

IFI said the incident highlights the extreme toxicity of certain pesticides to the aquatic environment, as what was a relatively small discharge of pesticide extended to a stretch of more than 4.2km of the watercourse.

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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