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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Mar 2018 right left

   
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Hedge Planting

Sunday 4th March
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh
Free

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Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 18th March
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield
Free

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The Rivers Trust Spring Conference 2018

Wednesday 21st March
Iveagh House, Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Free

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”Greater care for rivers needed” 28 July 2014

Rivers very sensitive to pollution, greater care needs to be exercised: Durkan

 

Outlining the increased hazards facing our waterways and aquatic life at this time, Mark H Durkan said: “With the recent hot dry weather, river levels are very low and the resulting higher water temperatures means there is less oxygen in the water to support aquatic life.

“This week my officials from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have responded to four fish kills. While some of these fish kills may be the result of natural causes, others (may) have been caused by pollution entering our waterways.

“All sectors of industry and the public should be aware that rivers in Northern Ireland are currently even more vulnerable to any forms of pollution and greater care needs to be exercised.”

Like terrestrial animals, fish and other aquatic organisms need oxygen to live. As the water temperature rises less oxygen is dissolved in the water. Any form of pollution, such as farm wastes, domestic sewage (treated or untreated) or industrial effluent that uses oxygen to break it down depletes the already lower levels of oxygen in the water. It causes fish and other aquatic animals to stress, in many cases resulting in their death.

The potential for fish kills and pollution hazards is not confined to rivers. In lake situations, warmer water floats on top of colder water. Oxygen consumption is greatest near the bottom of lakes where organic matter decomposes. The water at the top is too warm for fish and the water in the lower colder layer has too little oxygen which can result in fish and other aquatic animal kills in lakes.

The Minister confirmed: “As the environmental regulator, NIEA will investigate all incidents involving pollution of a watercourse or causing a fish kill with a view to prosecution.

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