Great News ! 37 fish species now living in the Mersey Estuary

Mersey Rivers Trust is celebrating the great news that there are now 37 different fish species living in the Mersey Estuary. 

Mersey Rivers Trust has been running a citizen science monitoring survey with local anglers on the Mersey Estuary during the past year to find out how many different fish species are now living in the estuary.  

Mike Duddy from Mersey Rivers Trust said last year’s survey results of 37 different species was nearly two and a half times the number of species found in a previous survey in 2002 as part of building the Mersey Gateway Bridge, when no more than 15 fish species were found.

Mike added that: “Over the last 30 years, there’s been this tremendous regeneration of the River Mersey. This renewal started slowly but is now picking up pace. I still think we’re right at the beginning of something special.” 

Mike Cuddy, from the Mersey Rivers Trust, holding a freshly caught cod next to the Mersey

Five different types of shark have been found as well as huge eels, sea scorpions, restaurant delicacies like turbot, and the very rare smelt. Smelt may even be breeding in the estuary and further work is planned to try to confirm this.  More than a century ago, smelt were very common in the estuary with a smelt canning factory in Warrington, but industrialisation and population growth led to them being completely wiped out of the Mersey Estuary. 

Kiera Tuck, from Seacombe, got involved in angling on the Mersey Estuary after walking past one day as someone was fishing a shark out of the river and now brings her child along.  She said: “I’m just obsessed now. I’m listing everything I want to buy. It makes me proud. My friend tagged me in the species list survey programme run by Mersey Rivers Trust and I was amazed".

Mersy Rivers Trust will be continuing the survey with anglers during 2023 and we would love to have more anglers joining in and reporting the different species that they are catching.  Please contact Mike Duddy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out more details and how to get involved.

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