Chemical spillage wipes out fish in River Trent

| 15th October 2009
A survey of the River Trent
A survey of the river found most fish had been wiped out by the chemical spill
Environment Agency officials searching for culprit as cyanide spill kills thousands of fish
 

Fish stocks have virtually disappeared from a stretch of the River Trent after it was polluted with cyanide.

A survey of the river between Stoke on Trent and Yoxall by the Environment Agency (EA) found, 'almost no evidence of living fish'.

In the main River Trent EA officers discovered just two solitary brook lampreys alive. These are likely to have survived because they bury themselves in sediment.

Only last year, the River Trent had been restocked with 40,000 young fish in an attempt to boost fish numbers following decades of industrial pollution.

The cyanide is believed to have entered the river through the Strongford Sewage Treatment Works in Stoke-on-Trent.

EA officers pumped oxygen into the river in an attempt to reduce the effects of the pollution but 'thousands' of fish were still killed.

The Agency said it was now investigating who was responsible for leaking the chemical and would prosecute them.

Red Industries Ltd, a waste management company, has been temporarily banned from dumping any industrial effluent into the water system. However, it has not been named as the source of the cyanide leak.

In 2004, Avonmouth-based chemical company Sevalco was fined £240,000 for deliberating discharging cyanide into controlled water.

See also

Donate

The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate here