Filleted fish found floating in Skibb stream

December 26th, 2021 11:40 AM

By Jackie Keogh

At least 15 dead - filleted - fish were dumped in a stream in Skibbereen town centre last week.

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THE bizarre matter of finding 15 filleted fish floating in the Caol Stream in Skibbereen was raised with Inland Fisheries Ireland last week.

The Southern Star also asked the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats for an update on the major fish kill that occurred in the Ilen River on Wednesday July 21st last.

The woman who reported the incident last Friday described the appearance of the lifeless and decaying fish as ‘worrying – not just for the health of the river, but also the health of all those who live near and use the river.’

However, she subsequently said she was reassured to learn that the fish had been filleted and therefore did not die in the river. But she, and others, were curious about how they got there.

A spokesperson for Inland Fisheries Ireland said an environmental officer visited the scene and found the 15 dead fish in the water.

‘As these were marine fish,’ she said, ‘they appear to have been caught at sea, filleted and possibly dumped in the Caol Stream.

‘The exact fish species is not yet known, but Inland Fisheries Ireland can confirm that the dead fish were not salmonids, such as salmon or trout.’

The spokesperson said Inland Fisheries Ireland strongly condemns the act of dumping fish species, dead or alive, which can lead to severe biodiversity or pollution issues within streams, rivers and lakes.

In relation to the fish kill on the River Ilen last July, the spokesperson said Inland Fisheries Ireland ‘isn’t in a position to provide an update on the investigation at this moment in time.’

In July, there were an estimated 2,000 fish mortalities in Skibbereen’s Ilen River, which is possibly one of the biggest ever recorded in the country.

On that occasion, Inland Fisheries Ireland estimated that of the 2,000 fish mortalities the majority were sea trout, but there were also 50 adult salmon, as well as numbers of flounder and eel, over a 2km stretch of the river.

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