Good News: Life in the Thames

It is good to see that the Thames is now supporting plenty of marine life, When I was a child growing up in Poplar access to the river was difficult. It was a dangerous and poisonous place.According the legend at the time those who fell into the Thames had their stomachs pumped as a matter of routine. The Thames was then a watery desert of pollution and chemicals that flowed through our great city.

Today there have been many efforts to clean up the river.. the result is that we can see seals swimming in the Thames; one lives in St Catherine’s docks and many have been sighted upstream as far as Teddington. There are also porpoises and dolphins who swim in the Thames and where these mammals swim there must be food for them to eat, so the Thames is now the home of fish of many types, including bream, perch, pike, roach, rudd, dace, ruffe, barbel and some carp. Five or so years ago an attempt was made to restock the Thames with salmon, but that proved unsuccessful.

It is good to be able to write about positive things. We as a society spend too much time listening to bad news, and we should realise that even in environmental matters there is some good news. Perhaps one day soon the banks of the Thames will be lined with coarse fishing folk undertaking that most innocent of occupations.


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