herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Toxic foam causes hundreds of fish to die in River Tolka

Dead fish in the Tolka
Dead fish in the Tolka

HUNDREDS of fish have died as a result of an apparent detergent dump in to the River Tolka in the north inner city.

Workers arrived at the Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin yesterday morning to find foam on a large section of the river and fish jumping out of the water in distress.

Brian Furlong, foreman at the Botanical Gardens told the Herald: "When I arrived it looked like there had been a huge snowfall down by the river. The foam was floating through the air and the fish were obviously in distress leaping out of the water.

"Unfortunately, this has resulted in a large kill of fish. It's so disappointing to see as many of them were mature large fish, such as trout, which are necessary for breeding," he said.

The weir at the Botanical Gardens had been developed to encourage salmon to migrate up the river and re-introduce them to that section of the Tolka.

However, Brian and staff at the Botanic Gardens fear that it will take some time for the stocks to recover after such heavy pollution to the river. "It's very disappointing, we haven't seen an incident this bad in years."

The river flowing through Griffith Park, between Glasnevin and Drumcondra, appeared to be the worst affected, with dead fish littering the banks and floating in the water.

Personnel from Dublin City Council's Drainage Services Division attended the scene, took water samples and successfully placed a boom wall barrier across the river at Griffith Park to prevent the foam spreading.

An investigation by the EPA, DCC and Inland Fisheries Ireland is under way to establish the source of contamination.

Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe, who represents Dublin's North Inner City, reported the incident to the EPA saying: "I'm calling on the EPA to take whatever action can be done to limit the impact of this incident on the river body.

"Earlier this year we were celebrating the return of spawning salmon to the river after a one hundred year absence. It would be shameful if this incident destroys the work to clean up the river."

hnews@herald.ie

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