Scientist at environmental agency blame droppings by the birds for poor water quality
A surge in seagull droppings is fouling up the water at a popular Dublin beach, according to Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Peter Webster, a senior scientist at the EPA, said that seagull droppings were a significant contributory factor to the poor water quality at Merrion Strand beach in the south of the Irish capital.
“We have a possible combination of impacts from surface waters but also from an increasing number of seagull droppings on a daily basis,” he told Newstalk Radio following the release of the agency’s annual report into bathing water quality on Tuesday. “Seagull poo has 10 times more bacteria than human poo.”
The proliferation of seagulls has wreaked havoc in Dublin in recent years. Last July, senator Denis O’Donovan called for a cull of the “vicious” birds, branding them a danger to society.
Residents frequently complain of being woken by the birds, particularly during the nesting season from early summer, and Irish media has featured countless tales of birds swooping on outdoor eating areas to take food from diners and throwing litter around the streets raids on garbage bags.
However, seagulls and their nests are currently protected by national and European regulations, which would appear to rule out a cull.