Rare Deep Water Fish Found Near Beach in Merseyside, Raises Environmental Concerns

Rare Deep Water Fish Found Near Beach in Merseyside, Raises Environmental Concerns

...By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.

A “very rare” venomous deep water fish, believed to be a bluemouth rockfish, was unexpectedly discovered near a beach by an angler in Merseyside, UK.


The small predatory fish, typically found between depths of 150m and 400m, is uncommon near the shore.

This incident marks the first recorded catch of a bluemouth rockfish from the shore in the UK.

Fisherman’s Encounter and Release:

Steven Mayes, fishing near New Brighton, north Wirral, caught the bluemouth rockfish while angling early in the morning on May 6.

Mr. Mayes attempted to release the fish by walking into the water, but it repeatedly swam back toward the shore.

Although uncertain of the fish’s fate, he shared the find with local fishing groups to identify the species.

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Expert Comments and Unusual Presence:

Mark Taylor from North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCA) described the fish as “very rare for this area” while acknowledging its common occurrence in other regions.


He noted that various fish species, including the bluemouth rockfish, may move closer to the shore during the summer, potentially for breeding purposes, which could explain its presence in New Brighton.

River Pollution Concerns and Sewage Discharges:

The discovery of the bluemouth rockfish follows earlier reports of the River Mersey Estuary’s improving ecological health, with the resurgence of five shark species and an increase in species diversity.

However, anglers express concern over sewage pollution impacting the river’s ecosystem.

United Utilities, responsible for managing sewers in the area, faces criticism for releasing sewage into the estuary, which often includes sanitary products and wipes.

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Calls for Greater Action and Sewage System Upgrades:

Experts, including Mike Duddy from the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, argue that water companies should invest in separating sewage and surface water runoff systems to prevent pollution.

This split network would allow runoff to enter rivers directly, bypassing the sewerage system and reducing sewage outflows.

Duddy believes a comprehensive overhaul of the network is necessary and urges increased commitment and resources from water companies to achieve cleaner rivers.

Mitigation Efforts and Future Plans:

United Utilities plans to invest £900 million before 2025, including £36 million specifically for projects on the Wirral, as part of efforts to improve river quality.

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The company aims to build storage tanks to handle excess rainwater during heavy rainfall and implement sustainable drainage solutions in urban areas.

Collaboration with local authorities, schools, and housing developers is also underway to promote sustainable drainage practices.


The discovery of a rare bluemouth rockfish near a beach raises concerns about river pollution, particularly in the River Mersey Estuary.

Anglers highlight the impact of sewage discharges on aquatic life and advocate for improved wastewater management.

United Utilities acknowledges the need for further action and commits to substantial investments to address the challenges.

The efforts to reduce pollution and improve river quality are crucial for safeguarding the ecosystem and enhancing the region’s natural habitats.


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