#FishKill - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) prosecuted Irish Water yesterday (Tuesday 5 February) at Ballina District Court for the discharge of a harmful substance into the Ballycorrigan River on 17 May last year, causing a fish kill.
Among the fish mortalities were 100 brown trout of different age groups, three juvenile salmon and one stone loach which were killed when a cleaning substance was discharged into the river.
Judge Patrick Durcan heard evidence from Michael Fitzsimons, a senior fisheries environmental officer with IFI, that a detailed investigation was carried out following a pollution report received from the general public.
It found that the fish kill was caused by a combination of effluents arising from an uncontrolled maintenance event from Irish Water’s Ballina/Killaloe wastewater treatment plant.
Irish Water entered a guilty plea. Judge Durcan directed Irish Water to pay IFI’s legal costs of €2,290 and fined the body €2,500.
Judge Durcan stated that Irish Water did not take into consideration the environment and conditions when discharging into the river and that Ireland’s rivers are its most important natural resource.
He said that while these resources are maintained under the vigilance of Inland IFI, Irish Water needs to be vigilant, too.
Amanda Mooney, director of the Shannon River Basin District with IFI, said: “Irish Water co-operated fully with Inland Fisheries Ireland’s investigation and updated its cleaning protocols for the use of chemicals in treatment plants nationwide with more appropriate methods now in use as a direct result of this incident.
“Our fisheries resource is an extremely valuable asset, both from a recreational and economic perspective and it is crucial that we continue to protect and conserve it for future generations to enjoy.”