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|Sea Horse Rides into Cleaner Thames
- 'Sensitive' fish shows success of pollution measures
THE FIRST sea horse to be seen in the Thames for nearly 30 years has been put on display at the Southend Sealife Adventure centre, an example of the success of the anti-pollution drives of recent years.
"Everyone thinks the Thames Estuary is a polluted, dead river but that could not be further from the truth," said the centre's David Knapp.
Found two weeks ago by fisherman Brian Baker, the sea horse (aka hippocampus) was tangled in sea-weed near Leigh-on-Sea. It was the first such creature to be spotted in the Thames since a distant cousin turned up in 1976.
"The sea horse is extremely sensitive to dirty water and would simply not be here if there was significant pollution," Knapp said. "We have seen an increase in all sorts of wildlife, not just fish but birds too. Little egrets and avocets which were very rarely seen in England a decade ago are now quite a common sight along parts of the Thames."