Tony Shep with a cod he caught near the Everton Stadium, a type of fish that had been caught far less in 2023. Photo Credit: Tony Shep

AnimalsEnvironment England26. February 2024

Cheers to the Greatest River Recovery in Europe!

Four decades after being declared biologically dead, River Mersey in Liverpool, England, has made the most incredible river recovery in Europe, with a considerable increase in fish populations as supporting evidence.

“What it means is the River Mersey is recovering after 200 years of industrial pollution,” says Mike Duddy, the man behind the hunt to help monitor species in the river. “People travel all over the country and try and catch these fish and all those wonderful fish are now on our doorstep. Now people really value them and people in Merseyside really value their wildlife.”

The last survey in 2002 showed that only 15 species were recorded in the estuary, and in 2023, a total of 45 different kinds of fish were found in the river by The Mersey Estuary Species Hunt. Indeed, five species of sharks were found by anglers, including smooth-hound, bull huss sharks, and starry smooth-hound sharks. Cod, ray, scorpion fish, different types of eel, herring, stickleback, bass, sole, and plaice have all been identified in the river this year, as well as a rare venomous fish, the blue mouth rockfish, caught off the Wirral coast. Industrial pollution has been curbed, but the sewage system must be changed to fix this ongoing problem and plastic waste.

Liverpool World

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