Salmon Return to Paris

Photo courtesy William Hartley, USFWS


It’s been nearly a hundred years since Atlantic salmon swam the Seine upriver to Paris. Now they’ve done it on their own, without any efforts to reintroduce them. AFP reports that hundreds, maybe a thousand, swam past the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame cathedral this year.

And they aren’t all. Only four species swam through Paris in 1995 when up to 500 tons of fish died upriver every year in foul pollution. Today at least 32 species inhabit the Seine, including lamprey eel, sea trout, and shad. Why? Because there have been massive clean-up efforts in the last 15 years, including construction of a new water purification plant.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Restore.
 

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  • Julia Whitty is the environmental correspondent for Mother Jones. Her latest book is Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean. For more of her stories, click here.