Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wild salmon return to the River Seine for the first time in almost a century

The Seine and Notre Dame Cathedral from the left bank, Paris, France, 2009 file pic. Pollution of the Seine hit salmon numbers after World War I.

Wild salmon are returning to the River Seine for the first time in almost a century, French scientists say.

Historically, Salmo salar - or Atlantic salmon - used to migrate up the Seine river for part of the year to spawn.

But increased pollution of the water and the building of dams after World War I saw their number dwindle.

By 1995, the salmon were gone, and only four species of fish braved the Seine's dirty waters, which washed up hundreds of tonnes of dead fish a year.

But a major clean-up project in the past 15 years - including the building of a water purification plant - has turned the tide for the river's marine life.

Now the Atlantic salmon - listed as an endangered species throughout Europe - is back, as attested by anglers who have netted sizeable specimens from the river in recent months. …

Cleaner Seine hosts salmon again

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