Investigation under way after latest fish kill

A number of fish have been killed in a river in County Antrim, the Department of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs has confirmed.

It is the latest in a series of fish kills reported across Northern Ireland in recent weeks.

In a statement, the department said that the Northern Ireland Environment Agency "received an anonymous call reporting dead fish in the Ballymoney River" at 12:50 BST on Tuesday.

"An investigating officer was sent to the site to confirm the report and to assess the environmental impact," the statement said.

"A fish kill has been confirmed and a potential source has been identified.

"Samples have been collected in accordance with procedure and the investigation is ongoing."

A dead fish at the edge of some water
Brown trout are among the species to be impacted by recent fish kills [BBC]

In recent weeks, thousands of fish have been killed in various stretches of river across Northern Ireland.

More than 1,000 brown trout were killed in the Four Mile Burn, a tributary of the Six Mile Water river in County Antrim on 19 May.

Then on 5 June, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) said more than 300 fish had been killed in a pollution incident in the Skeoge River near Donegal.

Anglers described a fish kill on Antrim's Glenavy River on 13 June as "harrowing", while an unrelated pollution incident three days later in the River Roe at Burnfoot resulted in more than 700 dead fish floating on the surface.

Speaking to the BBC recently, Joanna Braniff from The Rivers Trust said that fish kills were being driven by a number of factors including "chemical pollution, sewage spills and discharge overflows, increased water temperatures, and low oxygen levels caused by climate change and heavy rainfall running fertilisers off fields".