The Northern Ireland Environment Agency said yesterday it is currently investigating “a major fish kill at Carrig River, Newcastle, following a significant pollution incident” on Saturday.
A spokesperson for Stormont’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) confirmed; “The source was traced to premises where it was discovered that a chemical had escaped into the river causing significant pollution.
“Statutory water samples were collected and evidence gathered with a view to an enforcement action. To date the number of dead fish is in excess of 1,600.”
It’s believed that the majority of fish killed will be Sea Trout and Salmon, some in excess of 6lb.
The Ulster Angling Federation posted the news on it’s facebook page, which prompted a host of comments from Irish Anglers, devastated by the news.
Andy Moore described the news as “horrendous” and quoted that the fish should not be removed but left as “evidence for Deara Inland Fisheries.”
John Gregg Wrote “Far too many fish kills are occurring.”
Most comments involved mixture of sadness and anger, with many believing that whatever fine the polluters received at some point in the future, wouldn’t be tough enough.
Brigid Loughran summed up most peoples’ feelings by writing “So disgusted. We phoned NIEA too and were told the culprit farmer put his hands up. As said below , he will probably get a slap on the wrist. They need to be very heavily fined to stop doing this. It’s criminal and a disgrace.