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.

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.
14 February 2018
Man Killed In West Belfast Shooting
A man has died after being shot in west Belfast. The attack happened in the Glenbawn Avenue area of Poleglass at around 8pm on Tuesday, 13 February. It is believed he was shot in the chest. Sinn Féin Councillor Stephen Magennis condemned the shooting and described it as "brutal".
14 February 2018
PSNI Release Name Of Man Killed In West Belfast Shooting
Police have released the name of a man who was fatally shot in west Belfast. Raymond Johnston, aged 28, was shot in the Glenbawn Avenue area of Poleglass on Tuesday, 13 February. The PSNI also issued an appeal for witnesses who saw a male wearing a blue coat with fur around the hood making off from the scene in a black car with tinted windows.
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.
09 February 2018
Man Stabbed In North Belfast
A man has been injured after being stabbed in north Belfast. The attack happened on the Antrim Road just after midnight on Friday, 09 February. A 23-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen and a 22-year-old woman sustained a small cut to her face. The man is receiving hospital treatment. Sinn Féin Councillor JJ Magee condemned the attack.
30 January 2018
Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder
A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. The body of Robert Flowerday, aged 64, was discovered at his home in the Mill road area in Crumlin on Sunday, 28 January. Mr Flowerday was last seen alive at Dundrod Presbyterian Church on Sunday at around 12.45pm. He left the church on his bicycle and was wearing a high viz jacket.
03 August 2016
Over 1,000 Fish Killed In Pollution Incident In Co L'Derry
Over 1,000 fish have been killed following a pollution spill in Co L'Derry. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has launched an investigation after a range of species were killed over several kilometres in the River Faughan in Claudy. SDLP MLA Gerry McMullun described the find as "something out of a horror movie".
29 August 2008
Sammy Goes 'Wild' Over Salmon
There were moves today to protect a Northern Ireland river which hosts wild Atlantic Salmon stocks.
30 June 2014
Almost 400 Fish Found Dead In Glenavy River
Almost 400 fish have been killed in a river in Glenavy. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) were alerted on Friday that there was a pollution in the Glenavy River. Officers travelled to the site and found a number of dead trout over a distance of approximately 500 metres.
23 April 2014
Pollution Kills 1,000 Fish In Dungannon River
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) has reported that around 1,000 fish have died in the Oona River near Dungannon, Co Tyrone. It is understood that the fish, mostly trout, have been killed by pollution in the water, which has been classified as "high severity".