• Short Summary

    London's River Thames - for many years too polluted for fish to survive in it - is rapidly becoming an angler's dream.

  • Description

    GV Thames River with Tower Bridge in the background.

    GVs Industrial activity on the River Thames, showing polluted water. (7 SHOTS)

    GV & SV Launch with flags flying. (2 SHOTS)

    SV Men hauling in net.

    SV Catch being put into tray.

    CU Thames Water Author biologist John Steel, speaking in English as he holds tray of fish. (3 SHOTS)

    STEEL:"Well on of the major fish which has re-established itself in the last year or so has been the smelt (fish closely related to trout and salmon), which...there has been a tenfold increase in their numbers in the last year. They bred very well last year. And these were commercially fished 120 years ago in the Thames."

    JOHN DARBY:"In fact I gather even the occasional salmon is now found in the Thames?"

    STEEL:"Well, in fact yes, we have taken three salmons from the Thames, three of which have returned to the estuary from the sea. And also, of the young salmon which are put in right at the top of the Thames, we've had two of the salmon smolt coming through to passing out to sea."

    DARBY:"How does this differ of 15 years ago?"

    STEEL:"Well in 1964 there would have been no fish except eels in the 20 mile (35 kilometre) stretch that was totally devoid of oxygen. Since then there's been 96 species recorded and of those 96, we have recorded about 90 in the last three years."

    Initials JS/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: London's River Thames - for many years too polluted for fish to survive in it - is rapidly becoming an angler's dream. Salmon, trout, flounder are now being found again. It's considered one of the conservation miracles of the world because just two decades ago, the only fish able to live in the Thames were eels.

    SYNOPSIS: London's famous river is one of the world's most heavily used waterways. Since the industrial revolution, factories have poured chemical, detergent and other wastes into the 68-mile (110 kilometre) stretch from Teddington Weir, Through Central before 1825, fishermen made a good living on the river, but by the 1850's the stench from the Thames was so foul that even parliamentary debates at nearby Westminster were occasionally halted. A century later the oxygen-count in the water was down to almost zero.

    But massive investment in new sewage works and stringent anti-pollution laws have transformed the Thames and once again fish are being caught.

    John Steel a biologist with the Thames Water Authority claims it's the cleanest industrial river in the world.

    The Thames Water Authority have certainly proved that pollution can be combated effectively in the largest of industrial cities, but it does coat a great deal of money and a commitment by government and industry to a cleaner environment.

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    Media URN:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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