DAERA is to review rules around slurry and fertiliser use on local farms in response to algal blooms in Lough Neagh and other waterbodies in NI.

Senior DAERA official Dave Foster told reporters last week that a steering group is being set up to look at policies related to nutrient management on farms.

“The Nutrient Action Programme is one of those policies where we need to take another look to determine if what is in there currently is sufficient in the context of what has been happening in Lough Neagh and elsewhere this year,” he said.


Foster did not give details of what specific rules would be under review, although he suggested stricter requirements would be needed in some areas in the future.

“Obviously what has happened in Lough Neagh tells us there is more that needs to be done,” he said.

Various factors have led to the unprecedented growth of blue-green algae in Lough Neagh and other waterbodies this year.