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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 8 April, 2020

Asian Clam invasion prompts Longford angling ban

“An aggressive alien invasive species.”

INLAND FISHERIES IRELAND today announced an immediate ban on angling at the “hotwater” stretch at Lanesborough, Co Longford after the discovery of the invasive Asian Clam there.

In a statement this afternoon, Inland Fisheries warned:

Anglers must be aware of the dangers posed to other waters.
Asian clam can spread on fishing equipment such as keep nets, landing nets, boats, rods and clothing.
A decision has been made to close this section of the fishery as a temporary measure to avoid the accidental spread of Asian Clam to other waters.

After bio-security measures, including disinfection for angling equipment, the stretch of water will reopen “at the earliest opportunity”, the statement added.

Source: Aad van Meerkerk via Wikimedia Commons

Today’s announcement is a serious development for anglers in the area, because the Asian Clam – Corbilcula fluminea – is known as one of the world’s most dangerous invasive species.

It can reproduce and spread, and out-compete native species for food, so aggressively and quickly that its presence could eventually have a negative impact on public beaches, lake-front homes and swimming areas.

Amanda Mooney from the Shannon River Basin District of Inland Fisheries dubbed the Asian Clam an “aggressive alien invasive species”, and said today’s discovery was a “tremendous shock.”

Corbilcula fluminea was first spotted in Ireland in 2010 in the Rivers Barrow and Nore in Carlow and Kilkenny.

Three further separate populations have since emerged – at Carrick-on-Shannon, Lough Derg, and now at Lanesborough.

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Invasive species cost Ireland €261 million per year>

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Dan MacGuill

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