Distressed fish a new angle on hot news story

With temperatures hot enough to move statues, agencies responsible for human, fish, and animal protection have warned of a new set of threats: Distressed fish, sneezing motorists, and fire-prone vegetation.

As the country bakes in an overdose of sunshine, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has an important request for anglers: Report any sightings of distressed fish. 

So concerned is the agency that its CEO, Ciaran Byrne, has asked that anglers practising catch and release fishing during this hot spell “consider taking a break from fishing entirely until conditions are more favourable”.

If this seems like an odd request, rest assured, it is not. Fish can get into a flap over high water temperatures and low water levels.

IFI is also asking anglers to voluntarily cease using ‘keep nets’ during this period to avoid causing unintentional distress to fish kept for long periods.

The public is invited to make reports of fish in distress to IFI’s 24-hour hotline on 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

Landowners are reminded that abstraction of water from rivers and lakes should be carried out “in a sustainable manner, to ensure sufficient levels are available for other water users and to protect the aquatic habitat”.

Fires also pose a problem. The Department of Agriculture has issued a Condition Red, signifying extreme fire risk — a warning that remains in place until midday on Monday.

This is due to the current prolonged high pressure weather patterns, very high temperatures, and effective drought conditions.

The department is also advising that all outdoor use of fires, barbecues, and other open ignition sources be avoided on forest lands and in other high-risk areas until further notice.

Warnings have also been issued to motorists to beware of harsh sunshine and glare, which can make it difficult to see. Beware of the many MAMILs (middle-aged man in lycra) taking to the roads on their streamlined bikes. Make sure your tyres are in good nick.

Make sure the engine, but not the owner, is well oiled. And beware of sneezing motorists whose hayfever is exacerbated by a superfluity of pollen grains. It is, after all, the silly season.


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