The Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea) is a most unwelcome recent addition to the fauna of Irish rivers and lakes. This bivalve mollusc is regarded as one of the most notorious aquatic invasive species in the world.

At present, as water temperatures are increasing in our rivers and lakes Asian clam populations are reproducing releasing vast quantities of planktonic juveniles into the water.

In order to limit the further spread of this highly invasive species IFI is urging all water users, particularly anglers and boaters, to implement strict biosecurity measures including disinfecting all equipment that has been exposed to or used in waterways when moving from one area to another.

Considering that each clam can produce up to 70,000 juveniles each year, the potential for the enormous expansion of this population is apparent.

Asian clam

Dr Joe Caffrey, Senior Scientist with IFI and Project Leader of the EU funded Life+ CAISIE project, stated that “It is imperative that every effort is made to limit the expansion and spread of this highly adept invasive species outside of its current range. Before and after use in waterways, boats, angling gear and related equipment should be thoroughly inspected for Asian clams with any found removed and disposed of in a biosecure manner.  Additionally, all such equipment should be cleaned and disinfected with reference to the invasive species biosecurity guidelines produced by IFI.”

Further information on these biosecurity guidelines produced for anglers, boaters and scuba divers and on invasive species generally is available on the CAISIE ( and IFI websites (

Asian clam was first recorded in Ireland in the River Barrow near St Mullin’s in April 2010.  In late 2010 and in 2011 populations of the Asian clam were recorded in the River Nore downstream of Inistioge and in the River Shannon at Banagher and Carrick-on-Shannon and in Lough Derg.

Any new sightings of the Asian clam should be reported to IFI. Inland Fisheries Ireland appreciates the cooperation and goodwill of stakeholders and the public in adhering to these biosecurity measures as they are essential if we are to effectively halt the spread of harmful pathogens and invasive species.

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Media Enquiries:

Suzanne Campion
Head of Business Development,
Inland Fisheries Ireland

Tel: 052 6180055 Fax: 052 6123971;
Email: [email protected] Website:

Notes to Editor:

The EU Life+ funded project ‘Control of Aquatic Invasive Species and Restoration of Natural Communities in Ireland’ (CAISIE) is co-financed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and coordinated by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and was established under the Fisheries Act 1st July 2010. Its principal functions are to advise the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources on policy relating to the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries and sea angling.