Running right through the heart of western Europe’s largest city, the iconic River Thames has brought trade, travel, and tourists into London for millennia. As a focal feature of the cityscape, we often forget that the water under moving under our bridges flows in a living river, linking the upper catchment of the Thames/Isis to the North Sea via the Thames Estuary, and proving habitat and shelter for many aquatic species, from seahorses to the seals, and sharks to oysters.
Since 2015, the Zoological Society of London have been monitoring the tidal Thames to find out which fish use the estuary as a nursery – and supported by our Fisheries Charitable Trust – they have put together a guide to help identify fish that people working in and around the estuaries of the UK might commonly encounter.
This free practical guide contains a key to help identify over 50 species of adult and juvenile fishes that can be found in UK estuarine sampling. Aimed at anyone undertaking a fish survey, the guide provides useful information on the type of gear used to undertake shore-based sampling. It should prove useful to ecologists, marine biology students, anglers and anyone catching, or simply interested, in what lies beneath the surface of our city’s aquatic artery.
Through it’s compilation and publication, funded by our Fisheries Charitable Trust, we hope to make this information freely available to all who have an interest, as well as adding to the long term historical record of the health of estuarine environments, indicated by the diversity of fish species that call these habitats home.