Carp fish kill disease hits lake in Cobh too

Carp fish kill disease hits lake in Cobh too

Bill Brazier, fish biologist and secretary, Cork Carp Anglers Club, left, with Sidney Kennedy, chairperson, Cork Carp Anglers Club, and his daughter Amy, examine one of hundreds of carp which have died recently at The Lough, Cork. Picture: Denis Minihane

THE mysterious disease or infection which has killed over 360 carp at The Lough has not yet been identified and now fish in another lake in Cobh are dying from the same disease.

Fish biologist and secretary of the Cork Carp Anglers Club, Bill Brazier, said local residents and anglers are in total shock with regards the fish kill.

Seán Long of Inland Fisheries Ireland said fish in Belvelly Lake are showing the same symptoms as the fish in the Lough, suggesting it may be the same disease.

“The fish appear lethargic and sick looking. Anyone looking at them can tell they are not well. Also, there is a white fungal growth appearing on the scales on the side of the fish. That could be a secondary issue or it could be part of the problem.”

Mr Long has asked anglers to suspend all fishing activity at The Lough and to disinfect their equipment if it had been used in infected areas in the past month.

Mr Brazier said that if the disease was to spread it would cause serious trouble for the fishing industry, affecting people’s livelihoods.

Bill Brazier next to one of hundreds of carp which have died recently at The Lough. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Bill Brazier next to one of hundreds of carp which have died recently at The Lough. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“Carp are very expensive and nationally rare,” he said. “The death of these fish will have a knock-on effect. There is a small number of prominent diseases that would result in a substantial quarantine period, possibly a number of years.”

Cork City Council’s head of Parks and Recreation Stephen Scully said it was distressing for everyone involved to have these fish dying in such large amounts but urged people to hold off on speculation until the test results come back from the Marine Institute.

“The Lough is a local amenity, used and loved by many. It is not nice to see fish in distress. It is not uncommon to have health scares, however, I do not recall a previous incident of this scale occurring at the Lough in recorded history,” Mr Scully said.

He said the scale of the ban will become clear when the test results come back from the Marine Institute: “We would ask people to be patient, not to go fishing and to wait for the results of the tests.”

According to local Independent councillor Mick Finn, the recent fish kill at the Lough highlights the need for ongoing investment in what he describes as an ‘iconic recreational location’ in Cork.

“At this early stage, it looks like it was a parasitic disease that may have led to this considerable fish kill and we need to look at the combination of factors that led this to happen.

“All necessary measures need to be taken to protect against another such outbreak.”

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