North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie held a meeting with SEPA and the Eden Angling Association to seek a solution to the declining health of the Eden River ecology, including river bed damage from a previous pollution event and low summer water levels.
In 2018, a SEPA investigation found that a local pollution incident in 2016 caused significant and permanent damage to the riverbed of ranuculous weeds, which are important in protecting young salmon and trout from predators.
In 2019, an attempt was made to transplant the Ranuculous weed population by a broader partnership including the fishing association SEPA and Scottish Water, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.
David Farmer, Secretary of the River Eden Angling Association, said, “The central theme remains to explore and find solutions to restore the ranuculous weeds in the river bed and the summer low water conditions caused by climate change, as well as the wider effects on them River ecology and habitat.
“In its current state, the River Eden is destined to become unsuitable for indicator species like ranuculouss and trout, and with them anything that depends on their continued health. Right down to the community benefits that the river brings.
“We want to work with SEPA and Scottish Water and other stakeholders to find a solution that will restore the river’s ecology and restore all of the local wildlife that has been lost to the river’s poor health.”
Mr. Rennie added, “This really hits the long-term damage that pollution and climate change can do to our local environment. It’s not just about reducing pollution and carbon emissions at the national level with situations like River Eden where urgent steps need to be taken to protect the local ecology.
“If a solution is not found quickly to reverse the damage caused, we could see an irreversible decline in native flora and fauna, or possibly even disappear entirely from the local area.”