Offaly Farmers Asked To Remain Vigilant For Water Pollution
Inland Fisheries Ireland has issued an appeal to farmers in Offaly to remain vigilant during the summer months when harvesting silage and spreading slurry to avoid water pollution and the loss of nutrients to water.
The eight fish kills caused by agricultural practises in 2016 occurred in Meath (x 1), Kilkenny (x 1), Cork (x 3), Kerry (x 1), Sligo (x 1) and Galway (x 1).
In four instances, the exact cause of the fish kill was difficult to ascertain while 16 incidents of fish kills were as a result of disease and natural causes.
As agriculture was the largest identifiable and avoidable attributing factor to fish kills last year, farmers in Offaly are reminded of the importance of managing their silage operations correctly.
Silage effluent is a significant polluting substance, starving fish and invertebrate life of oxygen, resulting in potentially massive fish kills if it enters a watercourse.
With some rivers low during summertime with little dilution capacity, the effect of a small leak can cause huge damage.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is advising farmers in Offaly to follow its simple six point plan to ensure good farmyard management and reduce their risk of polluting: Use round bales as the most environmentally friendly way to store silage.
If a silage pit is being used, ensure it is properly sealed to prevent leakage from under the slab.
Never spread slurry close to a watercourse, be aware of the slope of land to the watercourse.
For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.