Bookmark and Share
24/01/2011

Fish Die In Sixmilewater 'Pollution' Incident

Hundreds of fish have been killed on the Sixmilewater River in Co Antrim, after a prior fish kill in the same river in 2008 - and one even further back, in 2001

The latest one in the scenic stretch of river, (pictured here by Brian McCalden) was reported to the Environment Agency on Sunday afternoon with water and fish samples taken away to be analysed to see if any specific chemicals could be identified.

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan said: "I am profoundly disappointed to find myself in the position of having to condemn yet another fish kill on the Sixmilewater River in the Ballyclare area.

"Having spent a great deal of time in the past two years working with local anglers groups, I am acutely aware of the disappointment and frustration that this will cause, bearing in mind that the river was only just recovering from a previous incident."

Antrim Alliance Councillors Neil Kelly and Alan Lawther have also expressed concern at the fish kill which occurred in the river between Ballynure and Ballyclare.

This follows two previous incidents which occurred in 2006 and again in 2008 which resulted in hundreds of dead fish in the Castle Grounds area of the river in Antrim - no prosecutions were made after the 2008 incident which was thoroughly investigated at the time.

Cllr Neil Kelly said: "Early indications are that this current incident is probably due to pollution and again will be investigated.

"There is no evidence at this time that fish and wildlife have been affected down stream from this incident towards the Antrim area.

"In recent years the river wildlife has been flourishing with otters and kingfisher a common sight on the Sixmile between Antrim Town and the Lough shore." he said.

"If indeed the cause of this incident is established and pollution is deemed to be the cause, I would hope the full rigour of the law is brought to bear on those responsible."
News Image
Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther said: "There have been a number of incidents of this nature in recent years and they are totally unacceptable.

"To have one fish kill is a very worrying, to have several over a period of time is nothing short of disgraceful."

Just last year, apparent pollution on a scenic stretch of the river in Co Antrim was also investigated.

At the time, Michael Martin, of the Six Mile Water Trust, Antrim & District Angling Association, said that their advice to anglers was to stay away from the Six Mile Water river following the discovery of what appears to be sewage fungus coming down the river.

"The material which is light coloured and resembles what one member described as rotting flesh was first discovered last Tuesday but the source was not discovered until Friday due to problems with access because of the work on the motorway bridge at Templepatrick," he said.

"Our own investigations have found an absence of the material above Ballyclare Sewage facility but a heavy accumulation immediately below," he noted, pointedly.

However, after the NI Environment Agency investigated, nothing conclusive was identified.

There is a history of such incidents, and as far back as July 2001, a pollutant had entered the waste water treatment works at Ballynure with reports being issued on the same day of a fish kill in the Sixmilewater, renowned as a high quality-angling river.

While an emergency operation had commenced to prevent the pollutant from reaching the river, investigation by staff from the Fisheries Conservancy Board (FCB) found that, in spite of the determined efforts of the Water Service to contain the pollutant within the works, a proportion had managed to infiltrate the Sixmilewater.

See: Pollution Threat Hits Six Mile Water Anglers

See: FISHKILL SIGHTED ON SIXMILEWATER AT BALLYNURE

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

21 November 2017
Work Begins On New Solar Farm In South Antrim
Work has started on a new solar farm in south Antrim. The £7 million scheme will supply electricity to NI Water's Dunmore Water Treatment works. The work is taking place on a 33-acre site on the eastern shore of Lough Neagh and when completed will produce a peak output of 4.99 megawatts and is expected to save over £0.
13 November 2017
Woman Killed Following Crash On A2
A woman has been killed in a car crash on the Bangor to Belfast Road on Friday, 10 November. The collision happened on the A2 at Ballygilbert after 3pm. A child was also critically injured and is being treated in hospital. Another man involved was treated in hospital, however he has been discharged. The road has since been re-opened.
10 November 2017
Second Man Arrested Over Liverpool Hit-And-Run
A second man has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run in Liverpool in which Co Antrim man Matthew Bradley was killed. The 33-year-old man was detained on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving in Bradford. He has been conditionally bailed to appear in court in December, according to Merseyside Police.
08 November 2017
Memorial Unveiled In Remembrance Of People Killed In IRA Bombing
A memorial has been unveiled in remembrance of the 12 people killed by an IRA bomb in Enniskillen 30 years ago. The bomb exploded on 08 November 1987 and claimed the lives of eleven people. A twelfth victim, who went into a coma, died in December 2000.
29 September 2017
Man Killed In Co Antrim Crash Named
Police have named a man who died in a collision in Co Antrim. Morgan Denny, aged 36, was driving a silver Nissan pick-up jeep when he was killed in a crash close to the junction of Rusheyhill Road in Hannahstown on just before 8am on Wednesday, 27 September. Police are working to establish the circumstances of what happened.
14 August 2008
Fish Kills Targeted
There was a large turnout last night as concerned fishermen and locals met to discuss repeated fish kills into one of the main tributaries to Lough Neagh. As reported on 4ni in June, a second serious fish kill in a matter of days occurred then on the Ballymartin River thanks to pollution being blamed on the nearby industrial estate at Mallusk.
24 March 2003
Pig slurry blamed over Co Antrim fish kill
A spillage of pig slurry is being blamed for thousands of dead fish being washed onto the shores of a Co Antrim river. It is the second time in two years the two-mile stretch of Inver River at Larne has been affected.
25 July 2014
Major Fish Kill In County Armagh
A major fish kill has been reported in County Armagh. It is believed to have been caused by pollution from farm waste, according to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA). At least 60 fish have been reported to have been found dead in the Bessbrook River. The NIEA expect this number to rise.
14 August 2001
Agricultural effluent contaminates Forkhill river
Hundreds of fish have been killed in a County Armagh river in a major environmental disaster caused by farm effluent. The fish kill was discovered on the Forkhill river near the south Armagh border by a local angler on Monday morning.
24 October 2017
Driver Caught Speeding Over 110mph In Co Antrim
A driver has been caught speeding at 113mph in Co Antrim on Sunday, 22 October. The motorist was caught by PSNI Road Policing on the new dual carriageway of the A26 near Ballymena.
01 April 2009
Further Fish Kill Probed
Water quality inspectors were in Co Armagh yesterday after a report through the Water Pollution Hotline that dead fish had been spotted in the Corcrain River in Portadown. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has confirmed that it is probing a possible fish kill incident in the waterway, which is also known as the Ballybay River.
06 November 2006
Anglers appeal for river pollution to stop
County Antrim anglers and Friends of the Earth have today accused the government of being “incompetent or incapable” of enforcing the legislation to protect the natural environment.
20 November 2017
Armed Gang Attack Two Men In Co Antrim
Two men, aged 19 and 22, have been injured after being assaulted by a gang, armed with weapons including a meat cleaver, in Co Antrim. The attack happened on the Antrim Road in Newtownabbey at around 2.15am on Sunday, 19 November. One of the men sustained injuries to his head and needed staples and the other had to have stitches for a hand injury.
15 November 2017
Renewed Appeal Over Fatal Crash In Co Antrim
The PSNI have renewed their appeal for witnesses following a fatal crash in Co Antrim. A car and a lorry were involved in the collision on the Roguery Road in Toomebridge at around 7am last Wednesday, 08 November. A man, who was a passenger in the car, was killed in the crash.
09 November 2017
New Traffic Measures Introduced In Belfast
New traffic measures have been introduced on the Antrim Road in Belfast. A new tidal urban clearway arrangement will begin to operate from Monday 13 November. The clearway will operate on the Antrim Road, from its junction with Cliftonville Road to the M2 overbridge, just south of Glengormley.