Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Diesel spill hits top Irish pike fishery

Specialist cleaners are today fighting to prevent an environmental disaster in a nature reserve and pike fishery in Northern Ireland. Around 8,000 litres of diesel fuel which spilled into a tributary of Lough Beg, in Co Londonderry, has spread out into the shallow lake. A specialist clean-up company has been brought in by the Department of Environment to try to stem the flow and to clean up the lough.

The alarm was raised by the crew of a police helicopter who spotted the oil spill in the lough while on a routine flight and radioed in details. The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) launched an investigation into the spill which is believed to have come from a nearby industrial estate. The Department of Environment said: "The EHS are currently investigating a spill of approximately 8,000 litres of red diesel into a tributary of Lough Beg.

"EHS Pollution Response Officers have identified the source and are currently trying to prevent more oil from reaching Lough Beg, an Area of Special Scientific Interest, A Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site."

Beg's shallow waters are one of the more celebrated pike fisheries on the Lower Bann system.