We have a healthy respect for Jaws, but the likelihood of a Great White swimming down the Thames is about as likely as spotting a whale in that muck. Alligator though... there's a concept we can get in a panic about. We have toilets and sewers in London. With all this radiation knocking about Christ knows what will happen the next time we try to flush an animal down the loo...
This kind of thinking would have made a good defence for Derek May who was recently given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £60 in costs after he was spotted dumping goldfish in the Thames:
The court heard that Mr May was left with between 15 and 20 goldfish that didn’t turn gold but stayed a dark colour in his garden pond. Instead of disposing of the fish responsibly, Mr May ditched the goldfish into the River Thames
Not a good move. Releasing goldfish into the river broke two laws according to the Environment Agency:
Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act – Releasing an animal into the wild that is not normally resident.
Section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fishery Act – Introducing fish into a water course without a valid consent from the Environment Agency.
Goldfish, believe it or not, are bad news for the natives of the Thames. They grow in size and numbers and get it on with wild crucian carp Carassius carassius resulting in a hybrid species Goldfissius arsekickius. The offspring then beats the fishy crap out of the pure breds like grey squirrels with fins.
Dennis Welling, an Environment Agency environmental crime officer, said:
Although some people may think this is a harmless act, introducing non-native fish into the wild can have serious implications for our native fish populations. They carry disease, out-compete native species, and breed so prolifically that they change the natural balance of the ecosystem.”
Spotted an environmental crime? There's a 24-hour hotline: 0800 807060.