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Fishery inspector ‘appalled’ at fly tipping into rivers

A FISHERY Inspector with the Loughs Agency has said he is “appalled” at the dumping of rubbish – including meal bags, plastic, silage wrap, tins and bottles – in the Ballinamullan Burn close to Killyclogher.

Seamus Cullinan made the comment after visiting a stretch of the river after it was brought to the attention of the UH by a local fisherman.

There are an array of fertiliser bags, plastic bags, pig meal bags, bubble wrap, bleach and other bottles, aerosol cans and plastic drums in the water.

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After inspecting the stretch of water, which is a tributary of Camowen River, Mr Cullinan said, “I was appalled at this example of fly tipping.

Sadly, we are finding more of these incidents on our rivers. The Ballinamullan Burn is an important salmon and trout nursery and spawning tributary of the River Camowen.

“This type of fly tipping, whilst seemingly innocuous to most people, in terms of water quality, can have a detrimental effect on the habitat of the River bed. For example, at today’s site, I counted a ten metre stretch of the river bed which is completely covered in plastic. This is enveloping a section of potentially pristine salmon spawning habitat, rendering it completely useless.”

However due to such rubbish generally being dumped over bridges at night, Mr Cullinan suggested it is very difficult to catch the perpetrators.

He added, “It contravenes several pieces of legislation, and is covered under our own Fishery legislation. This plastic waste, particularly round bale silage wrap, is becoming an increasing problem in our rivers, and stays in the catchment for years. As well as having an environmental impact, it is unsightly, and does little to encourage visiting anglers to our rivers.

“We would appeal to householders and farmers to be more responsible with waste plastics. There are facilities which take this type of waste, at no cost. Most people are responsible. It only takes a tiny minority to make the difference between a littered or pristine environment.”

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