Rare species emerge in a river declared dead more than 60 years ago

The Thames River (London), declared biologically dead 64 years ago, has returned to host species of fish and fauna. The good news was released by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), last Wednesday, November 10, through a report on the state of the river.

According to the analysis, Thames, which in 1957 was described as “a huge and smelly sewer” because there was no oxygen for several kilometers of its route, today has 115 species of fish and fauna. The most surprising thing, according to the ZSL, is that extraordinary varieties have emerged such as dogfish, caella, and a rare poisonous fish called dogfish.

The dogfish whose scientific name is Galeorhinus galeus, is a type of shark that feeds on fish and crustaceans. It can measure up to 1.80 meters and weigh up to 48 kilos. The ZSL claims it can live for more than 50 years, but is critically endangered worldwide, according to the Red List of Threatened Species.

Caella (Mustelus asterias) meanwhile, it can weigh up to 11 kilos and measure 1.2 meters. Their diet is based mainly on maricos, mollusks and crustaceans. It also belongs to the species of sharks.

The spiny dogfish is a very special shark, as it is about 60 centimeters long and very thin. Also, it is covered in poisonous thorns and only swims in deep water. Its venom can cause extreme discomfort to humans and it is one of the few fish found in the waters of the United Kingdom.

The ZSL maintains that the news is good for the River Thames as it shows that there is a thriving ecosystem.

“This report has allowed us to really see how far the Thames has come on its way to recovery since he was declared biologically dead”Said the ZSL.

“In 1957 there were long stretches of Thames with oxygen concentrations so low due to all the pollution that entered it, that much of the river was devoid of life, “he added.

However, there is still a big challenge to solve. A slight decline in the number of fish species in tidal areas of the Thames remains latent. Likewise, the ZSL report has shown that the temperature of the river is increasing at an average of 0.2 ° C per year, which implies that climate change also interferes in its recovery process.