Mersey River Now Home to Sharks After Big Cleanup

By Corey Bennett

After years of being home to tons of sewage and trash, the Mersey River, located in Northwestern England,  is now surprisingly home to at least five different types of sharks and a variety  of other fish species. 

The river flows from Stockport all of the way through Manchester and Liverpool. At one point in time, the river was full of raw, extremely toxic chemicals. Even the locals joked that the chemicals would kill you before you could drown. Scientists have gone through the river after cleaning and have confirmed that five different types of sharks are now living in the river: bull huss, tope, dog fish, smooth hound, and starry smooth hound, as well as many different types of eels, sea scorpions, turbot, and smelt. 

Dr. Peter Jones of the Mersey Basin campaign, a UK Government-backed movement to clean up the Mersey River, said, “When I joined North West Water in 1974 the rivers in the Northwest were gruesome”. 

Mersey River was infamously known for being filled with large amounts of trash and was even called the most polluted river in all of Western Europe. After years of hard work, it is the cleanest it ever has been and now even a host for sharks. 

There are now plans made by the government to make the river sewage-free by the year 2030. The Liverpool City Region’s mayor, Steve Rotheram, says the city region will no longer invest into projects that dump untreated waste  into these rivers. Last week a water company was fined more than £500,000, $611,560.50 in US dollars. The water company failed to stop the discharge of raw sewage into a river for almost 24 hours, which ended up killing over 5,000 fish. 

The Mersey River still has a lot of work to go, but one day the river will be home to many more species of fish. 

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