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A Harbour Seal photographed at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, is a true seal found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines of the Northern Hemisphere. The most widely distributed species of pinnipeds, they are found in coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Baltic and North seas. Photo: AfloatA photograph of a Harbour Seal taken at Dun Laoghaire Marina on Dublin Bay, Ireland. Also known as the common seal, this species can be found along temperate and Arctic marine coastlines throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They are the most widely distributed species of pinnipeds and can be found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Baltic and North Seas. Photo: Afloat

Displaying items by tag: fish kill

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured a prosecution against Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water) after 40,000 litres of chemical leaked into a stream, killing 100 fish.

The incident happened on 11 June 2022 at the Whelan’s Bridge Stream, a tributary of the River Suir in Co Waterford, and caused the death of 100 fish including salmon, trout, lamprey and eels.

Uisce Éireann was found to have committed water pollution breaches at the Adamstown Water Treatment Plant at Kilmeadan, Co Waterford and must now pay more than €7,100 in connection with the incident.

Evidence was given by IFI Fisheries Environmental Officer Oliver McGrath who outlined the facts to the court.

Approximately 40,000 litres of aluminium sulphate — a chemical toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates — discharged into the stream from storage tanks on the plant site.

The defendants were found to have permitted or caused deleterious matter to enter into the waters of the Whelan’s Bridge Stream, contrary to Section 171 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959.

Waterford District Court imposed a fine of €4,000 on Uisce Éireann, and it was also ordered to pay costs of €3114.60, when the case was finalised last week on Monday 26 February.

Commenting after the verdict, Lynda Connor, South Eastern River Basin District director at IFI said: “This outcome highlights IFI’s continued and determined efforts to protect and conserve Ireland's inland fisheries resource.

“Fish kills, such as these, are serious and damaging ecological events. It is critical that Uisce Éireann ensures that adequate systems and processes are in place to prevent any such incident recurring.”

A separate IFI investigation resulted in Uisce Éireann being fined €10,000 in relation to the death of 2,000 fish in Co Clare in May 2023, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has welcomed the outcome of its prosecution of Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water) for chemical discharges to the Ballymacraven River in Ennistymon, Co Clare in May 2023.

At Ennis District Court on Friday 16 February, Uisce Éireann was fined €10,000 and must pay €8,477 in costs in connection with the case.

The incident last summer caused the death of an estimated 2,000 fish.

Deceased species included a large number of eel, along with salmon, trout, rudd and flounder, of all ages.

IFI’s in-depth investigations led to the instigation of legal proceedings against Uisce Éireann, with court procedures concluding on 16 February.

Uisce Éireann accepted liability for discharge of deleterious matter from the Ennistymon Water Treatment Plant on two separate dates in May 2023.

Commenting on the verdict, David McInerney, director of IFI’s Shannon River Basin District said: “The impact of the discharges from Uisce Éireann’s water treatment plant resulted in a very significant fish kill over 2.6km of the river.

“It created a devastating impact on an ecosystem that supports vulnerable salmon and eel stocks. The court was told the incident was an ‘ecological tragedy’.

“It is critical that Uisce Éireann ensures that adequate systems and processes are in place to prevent any such event recurring. We welcome the improvements made to date, and future improvements to be made at this plant.”

IFI reminds the public they can report instances of fish kills, pollution, fish in distress, habitat destruction or illegal fishing by calling its confidential 24/7 number at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) investigated a serious fish kill incident that occurred on 3 September 2021 at the Glore River in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

IFI’s investigation led to the instigation of legal proceedings against Uisce Éireann and court procedures concluded on Thursday 4 January.

Uisce Éireann, formerly Irish Water, has accepted liability for the fish kill, resulting from a chemical spill at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

A senior fisheries environmental Officer has inspected the treatment plant on several occasions since the fish kill.

Following an onsite meeting on 8 October 2022, a number of recommendations were made to Uisce Éireann to reduce the risk of future spills at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

Uisce Éireann were fully supportive and these measures have now been implemented.

IFI, the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats, says it will continue to inspect the plant to ensure that all recommendations have been followed.

Further to these preventative measures, Uisce Éireann has paid costs and a financial contribution of €15,000 to go towards research for habitat enhancement.

This will be used to identify the potential for a habitat restoration project in the upper Glore River and some of its tributaries.

This project will include a detailed survey of the Glore and possibly some adjacent sub-catchments, which will provide an analysis of current river and riparian habitat quality.

Where deficiencies are identified, appropriate amelioration works will be proposed to aid in the recovery of salmon stocks in the Glore River area.

Published in Angling

A “major fish kill” in a Co Derry river has tallied than 2,000 fish across a range of species, as BBC News reports.

The incident was discovered last Friday morning (24 November) on the Muff River in Eglinton, near the City of Derry Airport.

A report on Belfast Live suggests that sea trout returning to the river to lay eggs are among those killed by a pollutant in the watercourse.

An investigation is now under way by the Loughs Agency and Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), who say the have establised a “specific line of enquiry”.

Published in Angling
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Local anglers have said it could take years for stocks to recover after a major fish kill in a Northern Ireland river.

According to BBC News, it’s believed hundreds of juvenile salmon were lost as a result of a slurry spill affecting a mile-long stretch of the Corkley River near Keady in Co Armagh, which was reported on Saturday (21 October).

The river, a tributary of the Callan which feeds into the Blackwater and ultimately Lough Neagh, is known to be a spawning and nursery ground for salmon and trout as well as Lough Neagh trout or dollaghan.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

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A ‘substantial’ fish kill affecting trout and young salmon has been discovered in a tributary of the River Finn in Co Donegal.

Donegal Daily reported on Wednesday (13 September) on the incident in what’s described as a “nursery stream” at Crossroads in Killygordon, east Donegal.

It says it understands that hundreds of trout and young salmon have been lost.

In a statement, the Loughs Agency said it was alerted on Tuesday evening (12 September) “to the potential presence of a pollutant into a tributary of the River Finn, allegedly stemming from a commercial premises”.

It continued; “Loughs Agency fishery officers immediately initiated an investigation, where they discovered a discharge of deleterious matter had entered the watercourse.

“Substantial fish mortalities were discovered in the river on Tuesday evening, as well as during searches on the morning of Wednesday 13 September. Samples were collected from the discharge for analysis.

“Loughs Agency has committed significant resources into the clean-up operation, with fishery officers actively working to help ensure additional fish mortalities are mitigated as best as possible. We will have resources at the site of the incident until the investigation is complete.”

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is investigating a serious incident near Kinsale in Co Cork in which at least 2,000 fish have died.

The fish kill occurred on the Brownsmills stream in Co Cork and spread over a 4-5km stretch, flowing into the estuary at Kinsale.

Species of fish discovered dead include brown trout and eel. IFI says it first became aware of the issue on Wednesday (12 July) when a member of the public informed staff of seeing dead fish in the stream.

IFI have taken fish and water samples for analysis; Cork County Council Environmental Department are assisting with the investigation.

The State agency responsible for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland’s freshwater fish and habitats says it is not in a position to confirm the specific cause of the fish kill at this early stage, but investigations are continuing.

Published in Angling

A fish kill on the Ballinderry River in Co Tyrone has mostly likely wiped out this season’s young fish, according to BBC News.

Dead fish in the river near Cookstown were reported on Tuesday (30 May), with the Western Shore Angling group saying they’d received “numerous other reports”.

It’s understood that officials from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have been on site to investigate the source of the fish kill.

Published in Angling

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is investigating a confirmed fish kill near Crumlin in Co Antrim, as BBC News reports.

It follows reports of an alleged slurry spill in the Crumlin River upstream of the town close to Lough Neagh on Sunday morning (12 February).

Local angling representatives attended the scene and say they counted 25 dead fish in a 50-metre stretch of the river, which is best known for wild brown trout but also has salmon fry.

“So potentially there could be hundreds killed,” said David Kennedy of the Crumlin and District Angling Association, who added that a year of spawning may have been lost in the incident.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating a major fish kill incident that’s claimed over 2,000 juvenile brown trout and Atlantic salmon in a Co Donegal river.

Environmental and fisheries officers from the North-Western River Basin District were alerted to the incident in the Glenagannon River at Inishowen by a member of the public via IFI’s 24-hour confidential hotline number on Friday (26 August). 

Following patrols conducted along the river on Friday and Saturday (27 August), the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats has confirmed that over 2,250 juvenile brown trout and Atlantic salmon were killed in the incident.

The fish kill covered some four kilometres of the river and comprised several year classes of fish, IFI said, adding that is following a definite line of inquiry to determine the cause which may result in legal proceedings.
 
Milton Matthews, director of the North-Western River Basin District acknowledged the ongoing support of the public in reporting suspected cases of water pollution and fish kills.

“We would like to thank the member of the public who alerted us promptly to this serious incident through our 24-hour confidential hotline last Friday,” he said.

“This enabled our environmental team in Letterkenny to instigate our investigations without delay. This can be critical in identifying and confirming the underlying cause of fish kill incidents such as this one on the Glenagannon River.”

To report fish kills or water pollution, members of the public are encouraged to call IFI’s 24/7 hotline on 0818 34 74 24.

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For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

Changing Ocean Climate

Our ocean and climate are inextricably linked - the ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system in a number of ways. These include absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. But our marine ecosystems are coming under increasing pressure due to climate change.

The Marine Institute, with its national and international partners, works to observe and understand how our ocean is changing and analyses, models and projects the impacts of our changing oceans. Advice and forecasting projections of our changing oceans and climate are essential to create effective policies and management decisions to safeguard our ocean.

Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, said, “Our ocean is fundamental to life on earth and affects so many facets of our everyday activities. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is that of our changing climate. The strong international collaborations that the Marine Institute has built up over decades facilitates a shared focusing on our changing ocean climate and developing new and enhanced ways of monitoring it and tracking changes over time.

“Our knowledge and services help us to observe these patterns of change and identify the steps to safeguard our marine ecosystems for future generations.”

The Marine Institute’s annual ocean climate research survey, which has been running since 2004, facilitates long term monitoring of the deep water environment to the west of Ireland. This repeat survey, which takes place on board RV Celtic Explorer, enables scientists to establish baseline oceanic conditions in Irish waters that can be used as a benchmark for future changes.

Scientists collect data on temperature, salinity, water currents, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the Atlantic Ocean. This high quality oceanographic data contributes to the Atlantic Ocean Observing System. Physical oceanographic data from the survey is submitted to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) and, in addition, the survey contributes to national research such as the VOCAB ocean acidification and biogeochemistry project, the ‘Clean Atlantic’ project on marine litter and the A4 marine climate change project.

Dr Caroline Cusack, who co-ordinates scientific activities on board the RV Celtic Explorer for the annual survey, said, “The generation of long-term series to monitor ocean climate is vital to allow us understand the likely impact of future changes in ocean climate on ecosystems and other marine resources.”

Other activities during the survey in 2019 included the deployment of oceanographic gliders, two Argo floats (Ireland’s contribution to EuroArgo) and four surface drifters (Interreg Atlantic Area Clean Atlantic project). The new Argo floats have the capacity to measure dissolved ocean and biogeochemical parameters from the ocean surface down to a depth of 2,000 metres continuously for up to four years, providing important information as to the health of our oceans.

During the 2019 survey, the RV Celtic Explorer retrieved a string of oceanographic sensors from the deep ocean at an adjacent subsurface moored station and deployed a replacement M6 weather buoy, as part of the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network (IMDBON).

Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the IMDBON is managed by the Marine Institute in collaboration with Met Éireann and is designed to improve weather forecasts and safety at sea around Ireland. The data buoys have instruments which collect weather and ocean data including wind speed and direction, pressure, air and sea surface temperature and wave statistics. This data provides vital information for weather forecasts, shipping bulletins, gale and swell warnings as well as data for general public information and research.

“It is only in the last 20 years, meteorologists and climatologists have really began to understood the pivotal role the ocean plays in determining our climate and weather,” said Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann. “The real-time information provided by the Irish data buoy network is particularly important for our mariners and rescue services. The M6 data buoy in the Atlantic provides vital information on swell waves generated by Atlantic storms. Even though the weather and winds may be calm around our shores, there could be some very high swells coming in from Atlantic storms.”