Under section 7(3) (g) - IFI shall in the performance of its functions, have regard to the requirements of the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997 (S.I. No. 94 of 1997) and the need for the sustainable development of the inland fisheries resource (including the conservation of fish and other species of fauna and flora habitats and the biodiversity of inland water ecosystems) and as far as possible ensure that its activities are carried out so as to protect the national heritage, within the meaning of the Heritage Act, 1995
Salmonid Spawning area Unpolluted, fast flowing, Well oxygenated water Riffles Pool Riparian vegetation to provide shelter And food (invertebrates) Overview of River System
Fish Species in Ireland ~ 20 freshwater species ~ 65 marine species
Estuaries provide a nursery habitat for the larval and juvenile forms of (transitional and marine) fish species, in addition to providing shelter and food for many young and adult fish and shellfish. These in turn provide food resources for other levels of the trophic chain including shore birds, waterfowl, larger fish and marine mammals. Intertidal areas host high densities of benthic fauna in particular worms and molluscs. This in turn can make them important habitats for juvenile fish such as flounder, and juvenile crustaceans such as crabs which may inhabit such habitats in high numbers. The majority of fish in estuaries feed primarily on the benthos and thus live a demersal existence. Estuarine fish can generally be divided into a number of groups:
Estuarine dependant (opportunists) species typically enter estuaries from the sea for a period each year but do not stay permanently. The majority of these species drift into estuaries as larvae and when as young fish they become demersal, they take advantage of the rich benthic food sources available in sublittoral and intertidal estuarine habitats. Estuaries contain large numbers of ‘0 group’ fish that use them as nursery grounds before migrating to the sea as recruits to adult populations.
Marine stragglers enter estuaries irregularly and are often restricted to the seaward end (usually low in numbers of individuals)
Riverine species come from the freshwater end of the system and are mainly found in low salinity waters.
Truly estuarine species (residents) comprise only a small number of species although they may form a high overall biomass. The gobies are most typical of this group as they are found in estuaries around the year.
Migratory species use the estuary and inshore waters as a route from rivers to the open sea or vice versa. Most of these species are anadromous (breed in freshwater) e.g. the lampreys, the shads and the salmon ( Salmo salar ) / sea trout ( Salmo trutta ). Eels ( Anguilla anguilla ) are catadromous and breed in the sea.
Water Abstractions (can be damaging to wetlands/ watercourses) The Board notes that abstractions from groundwater for public water supplies are likely to become more significant in future. We note the presence of significant aquifers throughout the ERBD area and would like to point out that that these aquifers contribute to a number of important surface waters . Submission to ERBD
Climate Change The EPA Report Climate Change – Scenarios & Impacts for Ireland found in a study of six different catchments nationwide that, the greatest change, an annual reduction in effective runoff of approximately 25% of the baseline flow, was observed for the Slaney, the area drained by this River is in the South East of the Country where some of the greatest reductions in predicted runoff occur.
Climate Change The Dept. of the Environment Report “Ireland in a Warmer World, Scientific Predictions of the Irish Climate in the Twentieth First Century” states that a significant increase of extremely low Summer flow is expected in all catchments and at all return periods”, this report also highlights that the greatest increase in risk was in the two study catchments in the South East of the Country, the Barrow and Suir where the greatest increase in temperature is predicted
Climate Change Further research carried out by NUI Maynooth on behalf of the EPA (Climate Change in Ireland: Refining the Impacts for Ireland ) predicts that in catchments where surface water run-off is more dominant ( the Boyne, the Ryewater and the Moy) changes in summer flows will be much more pronounced. This report predicts 40% decreases in 95 percentile flows by the 2020s in the two eastern study catchments, the Boyne & Ryewater.
Water Framework Directive It requires governments to manage all of their waters: rivers, canals, lakes, reservoirs, groundwaters, wetlands, estuaries and coastal waters. Member States must ensuret hat their waters achieve at least good status by 2015 and that their status doesn’t deteriorate