Sharks have made the Thames their home, thanks to extraordinary conservation efforts that have brought the capital’s river back from its brink.
Thames Declared “biologically dead” in 1957 due to excessive pollution, but now full of life after more than 60 years of environmental work.
The Thames tide supports over 115 species of fish, including crest, starry flathound, and spur sharks – it has 92 bird species and nearly 600 hectares of salt marsh, crucial habitat for a number of wildlife.
Tope sharks can grow up to six feet long and live for 50 years, while spur dogs secrete venom from their fins.
Other amazing species that inhabit the Thames include seahorses, eels and seals.
The extraordinary turnaround appeared for the first time State of the Thames Report First full health check of the river, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Alison Debney, leader of the ZSL conservation program for wetland ecosystem recovery, said: “The estuary is one of our neglected and threatened ecosystems. They provide us with clean water, protect from flooding, and are an important nursery for fish and other wildlife.
“The Thames estuary and its associated ‘blue carbon’ habitats are critical in our fight to mitigate. climate change To build a strong and durable future for nature and people.
“This report has allowed us to really look at how far the Thames has come in its recovery journey since it was declared biologically dead, and in some cases sets the foundations to build on for the future.”
The report highlights the impact of specific conservation efforts and found the overall picture is bright for nature, with evidence of an increase in natural habitats such as a range of bird species, marine mammals and carbon-capturing salt marshes.
However, according to the report, climate change has increased the temperature of the capital’s waterway by an average of 0.2°C per year, and combined with the corresponding rise in sea level creates a “worrying picture”.