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ESB needs to act immediately at Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station - Liadh Ní Riada

20 June, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada is calling on the Electric Supply Board (ESB) to renew the traps at Ardnacrusha dam after revelations that exceptionally low numbers of much needed eels were trapped and transported in 2015.

A member of the European Fisheries Committee, Ní Riada said,

“Hundreds and thousands of critically endangered juvenile European eels are right now trying to migrate into Irish waterways but due to the mismanagement of the trap and transport scheme at Ardnacrusha dam, this is proving impossible.

“It has emerged in recent days that just 11.42kgs of elvers were trapped and transported by ESB at Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station in 2015, due to incompetence and negligence.

“The equipment being used for this scheme is outdated, not fit for purpose and in dire need of being replaced.

“There is an abundance of juvenile eels migrating, because the traps are failing, the eels are climbing up walls and spillways, entering cooling water outflows, going up onto ledges and under rock fill and platforms, dying and being preyed on.

“As a result of this, these species are being killed off and this is having dire consequences in the bid to help replenish eel stocks. This is simply intolerable and is costing eel fishermen their livelihoods.

“As a long term objective, with a view to replenishing a healthy eel stock in Ireland, I will continue to liaise with both the ESB and members of the eel fishing industry to establish a joined up approach but in the interim the ESB needs to act immediately at Ardnacrusha.” ENDS

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