According to the EPA report, published yesterday (Thursday 31 August), 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, but just eight of those were directly attributable to agricultural activities,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.
“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.
IFI 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.
“From an ecological and angling tourism perspective, our rivers and lakes are vital national resources,” said Dr Byrne. “It is essential that we protect and conserve these assets and water quality has a significant impact on fisheries habitats and populations.”