Inland Waterways

Inland Waterways Content

Ireland’s inland waterways are important parts of our transport and industrial heritage. They hold aesthetic, recreational and spiritual values, as well as important habitats for many forms of wildlife.

Call to Protect Against Invasive Species

Protect against Invasive Species.

CAISIE is a LIFE+ EU funded project co-ordinated by Inland Fisheries Ireland. One of the main objectives of the project is to control the spread of aquatic invasive species and increase awareness on this issue. Help protect the Irish waterways by getting familiar with these invasive species and by routinely inspecting and disinfecting eqiupment.

Ireland's biodiversity is a unique resource and is vulnerable to threats such as direct habitat destruction, environmental pollution and invasive species. With the increase in globalisation our natives species are under serious threat from the introduction and spread of invasive species. Indeed, Irish waterways are increasingly becoming infested with non-native invasive plants and animals. These species can cost our economy millions of euro every year to control as well as permanently and detrimentally altering native aquatic habitats and ecosystems. Such invasive species have the capacity to establish large dense populations which can be devastating to fish stocks and other aquatic life.

They can block waterways  and thus restrict amenity use and the general enjoyment of our waterways by the public. After their initial introduction, aquatic invasive species can go unnoticed for long periods of time, often years, and only become conspicuous when they are fully established. At this stage, substantial damage to native habitats and ecosystems may already have occurred which can be irreversible and become extremely costly to manage.

In order to ensure that invasive species and fish diseases are not inadvertently transferred into Ireland’s watercourses from abroad or from infested to uninfested waterbodies within the country, it is essential that all equipment used in or near waterways, such as hiking boots, angling or leisure gear, are routinely inspected and disinfected following each outing.  Prior to leaving any watercourse we should develop the habit of inspecting equipment for invasive plant and animal material, removing and safely disposing of any such material found, and cleaning and disinfecting equipment using CAISIE guidelines. The simplest method of disinfection is drying equipment thoroughly for a minimum period of 1 week.

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