Lake Lough Neagh

Lake Lough Neagh

News: 2024 is the 1st year, to encounter no appearance of Lake Lough Neagh’s fly in the lake, indicating accelerated ecosystem collapse.
• Located in – East-central Northern Ireland.
• It covers an area of approximately 392 square kms with a catchment area of 5,700 square km.
• Water source – Upper River Bann, the River Blackwater, and the River Main, and it is drained northward by the Lower Bann.
• Importance – It is the largest freshwater lake in British Isles.
• It supplies more than 40% of Northern Ireland’s drinking water
• It hosts the largest wild eel fishery in Europe.
• Over 100 different bird species can be spotted here throughout the year, including the iconic Arctic Tern and the elusive Brent Goose.
• It is also considered a cultural and archaeological jewel.
• Threat – Long-term pollution, largely from agriculture was a key part of the problem as increased nutrient discharge leads to growth of a vast “bloom” of blue-green algae.
• Along with invasive species like water-clearing zebra mussels, and the weather effects of climate change, the perfect conditions were created for the potentially toxic algae to bloom from the depths where it has always been present.
• Loss of biodiversity – Algal bloom, a thick, photosynthesising blanket deprives the lake of oxygen, choke the aquatic life and thus accelerates biodiversity crisis.
• Decreased numbers of Lough Neagh fly, a crucial insect that support fish, wildfowl, frogs and predatory insects lead to loss of those dependent species as well

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