Hundreds of dead fish have been found floating on the surface of one of Britain’s most iconic rivers.
Shocked residents have seen the River Cam in Cambridge covered with bodies of fish this week.
The fish have been seen on a picturesque stretch of the Cam between Elizabeth Bridge and Ditton Meadows.
The affected half-mile region is popular with walkers and is used by the university’s college rowing teams for practices and for their annual ‘Bump’ races.
One resident today said the sight was “grim – apocalyptic even.”
The Environment Agency (EA) and Anglian Water suggested the cause may be low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water.
They dismissed suggestions that pollution is the cause even though the site of the wildlife devastation is close to a sewage outfall.
Simone Chalkley, a resident of Cambridge for 31 years, saw “maybe 100” dead fish while walking along the bank.
Ms. Chalkley said she had never seen so many dead fish at one time.
She said: “I was walking with my partner on Tuesday after work and we just kept seeing one dead fish after another.”
“Every few steps there was one belly up floating on the edge of the river and it was like that for a few kilometers upstream at least.
“I posted it to a few local Facebook groups and people’s immediate reactions were it was sewage or pollution-related.
“Like quite a few others who were walking at the time, I put a call into EA who said they’re not yet ruling out that possibility.
“But they seem to think it’s most likely the atmospheric pressure from the thunder and hot weather which has dissolved the oxygen in the water.
“We were told it’s not an isolated incident to Cambridge – it’s been happening all over the UK and in Europe as well.
“It was a bit of a sad site really – I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
Ms. Chalkley said she reported the issue to the EA immediately.
A spokesperson for the EA thanked the public for reporting the dead fish and urged people to continue to do so.
They said: “Specialist fisheries officers inspected the river, where it is suspected that low levels of dissolved oxygen after heavy rainfall were the cause of the fish deaths, not pollution.”
A spokesperson from Anglian Water confirmed the company attended the inspection at Ditton Meadows with the EA.
They said: “Both ourselves and the EA can confirm that the issue resulting in the death of the fish is not related to Anglian Water in any way.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Saba Fatima and Asad Ali