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 Quarter of a million fish rescued in Norfolk Broads

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David Harvey

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PostSubject: Quarter of a million fish rescued in Norfolk Broads   Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:36 pm

Two days of intensive fish netting has saved the lives of nearly a quarter of a million fish at Hickling in the Norfolk Broads.



Environment Agency fisheries teams worked round the clock to rescue and relocate approximately 230,000 fish thought to be fleeing from the toxic effects of a Prymnesium alagal bloom.

The fish shoaled in a shallow ‘haven’ away from the effects of the spreading bloom but were in danger of seriously depleting the dissolved oxygen levels and needed to be relocated quickly.

Helped by volunteers from the Whispering Reeds boatyard - where the fish had gathered - and a local angling rep, Environment Agency teams moved the fish in tanks to the relative safety of the boatyard at Potter Heigham from where they could then swim freely into the rivers.

Fleeing from toxic Prymnesium

Stephen Lane, fisheries technical specialist at the Environment Agency, said:


“Thanks to everyone who helped. It was a very effective operation.

“We are especially grateful to the Whispering Reeds boatyard and Herberts Wood boatyard at Potter Heigham for enabling access to the site, and John Currie, an angling volunteer, for his assistance.

“It was thanks to people who phoned us with their concerns that we were able to save nearly a quarter of a million fish.

“This is a great example of where rod licence money has been spent on improving fisheries.

“We would like to remind the angling community if they see any fish in distress or dead fish, to call our hotline on 0800 807060.”

Scientists from the John Innes Centre were out taking water samples and collecting samples of dead fish - 350 to 400 fish died in the incident – to help with their research into why Prymenesium releases toxins in certain environmental conditions. The situation is continuing to be monitored.

The last similar occurrence in Hickling Broad was in 2012 when 35,000 fish were rescued and relocated.



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