NIEA investigating ‘major fish kill’ in Armagh

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is currently investigating a major fish kill on the River Callan in Armagh city.

The agency deployed an inspector to investigate after a member of the public reported seeing dead and distressed fish in the river to the Water Pollution Hotline on Tuesday evening (June 12).

From the immediate investigation, a small number of fish mortalities were confirmed and the river was noted to be running with black discolouration.

Prior to poor light preventing further investigation, the inspector traced the discoloured pollutant and identified that the impact was coming from a specific tributary to the River Callan upstream of the city.

An NIEA investigation team was on site early yesterday and a definite line of enquiry is now being followed.

To-date approximately 1,000 brown trout and 100 salmon have been counted and work is ongoing to assess the full impact.

Statutory samples have been collected and evidence gathered with a view to initiating prosecution proceedings through PPS. The investigation, under the Water (NI) Order 1999 remains ongoing.

Following set procedures, the NIEA’s Emergency Pollution Officer notified the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Inland Fisheries, so that a joint investigation could be carried out.

DAERA Inland Fisheries has confirmed that a major fishkill has occurred.

The Water Pollution Hotline can be contacted on: 0800-807-060.