Explosive fishing in Ballyclare in 1964

editorial image

People in Ballyclare were shocked to discover that explosives had been used in the Sixmile Water in order to catch fish.

The discovery was made in August 1964, and there were reports that up to 60 dead fish were taken from the river by poachers after gelignite had been put in the water.

Well-placed sources said at the time that the poachers timed the blasts to coincide with the blasts from the local quarry. By doing this they were available to avoid being detected by the authorities.

Some poachers spent all night at the river carrying out their explosive activity. They said that they were able to avoid detection from the police or concerned residents by throwing the explosives into deep water, which muffled the noise of the explosion.