€200k needed to restock Lough after virus kills 750 carp

The virus outbreak at The Lough in Cork has killed more than 750 carp, which could cost €200,000 to restock.

A total of 757 dead fish have been removed from the Lough, and 207 have also been removed from the privately owned Belvelly fishery, near Cobh, Co Cork.

Both fisheries were hit by an outbreak, which was confirmed last week as the carp edema virus. It has resulted in the disposal of an estimated 3.8 tonnes of dead fish.

The outbreak has virtually wiped out the Lough’s entire stock of carp.

Brian Brazier, secretary of the Cork Carp Anglers Club, said the outbreak has completely removed its high value as a national angling resource.

“Technically these carp, which were an Irish strain, are irreplaceable given the current lack of national supply in Ireland and the lack of similar sized carp in such numbers available for transfer from any other angling water in the country,” he said.

“Based on current market value in the UK... these fish were worth approximately £176,700 or €200,600, and this is a conservative estimate.

“We, the Cork Carp Anglers Club, along with the rest of Ireland’s carp/coarse angling community and no doubt the general public of Cork, look forward to working in conjunction with the Marine Institute, Inland Fisheries Ireland, and Cork City Council to purchase a smaller amount of replacement carp stock than just lost to rebuild and redevelop the Lough as a premier public carp fishery for all.”

However, Mr Brazier said there are a number of major issues to address before restocking water quality of the lake, rubbish clearance, de-silting, aeration, and biosecurity.

In a report to city councillors last night, the city’s director of services in environment and recreation, Valerie O’Sullivan, said the council, which manages the Lough, will be guided by Inland Fisheries Ireland in conjunction with the Marine Institute on the problem.

“In the meantime, parks staff are in daily contact with officials from both organisations,” she said.

Angling remains suspended at the Inniscarra and Carrigadrohid reservoirs in a bid to minimise the risk of a spread of the virus.

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