EcoEireann > What We Do > Protected Species & Habitat Surveys > Fish and Aquatic

Fish and Aquatic



Ireland’s freshwater systems are regulated through the Water Framework Directive, transposed into Irish law through the following regulations:

  • European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations, 2003 (S.I. No. 722 of 2003)
  • European Communities Environmental Objectives (Surface Waters) Regulations, 2009 (S.I. No. 272 of 2009)
  • European Communities Environmental Objectives (Groundwater) Regulations, 2010 (S.I. No. 9 of 2010)
  • European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations, 2010 (S.I. No. 610 of 2010)
  • European Communities (Technical Specifications for the Chemical Analysis and Monitoring of Water Status) Regulations, 2011 (S.I. No. 489 of 2011)
  • European Union (Water Policy) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 350 of 2014)

Designated sites

Many of the Ireland’s freshwater systems support populations of fish which are important internationally. Where these are identified by statutory agencies they are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) as required by the EU Habitats Directive, and receive strict protection under European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 477 of 2011) in Ireland

When do I need to get in touch?

If your project is to affect a waterway it should always be assessed for protected species and for any effects to freshwater species, such as fish or white-clawed crayfish. Consideration of the presence of fish populations and the life stage of fish present can have significant implications regarding:

  • Project design
  • Consenting requirements
  • Project program (potential for significant seasonal restrictions)
  • Pollution control and monitoring
  • Working methods
  • We recommend consideration of potential implications on fish at an early stage in project development.

How can EcoÉireann help me?

EcoÉireann use our extensive experience to inform project requirements where fish are a potential consideration in any project we typically undertake Fish Habitat Assessments which can identify the suitability of the study area for different life stages of fish. We can advise you on aquatic protection methods and water quality monitoring.

We apply best practice guidelines, in-depth knowledge of Irish ecology and habitat requirements and have an excellent working relationship with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI). We then present the results in our detailed professional reports to inform and support your project planning application or other consenting process.