Help choose the UK’s national fish
16th May 2016
Jack Perks has written a second guest post on his campaign to find the UK’s national fish
Last year we had the British National Bird vote, which the robin ultimately won, but this year fish are getting the spotlight. It’s up the British public to vote for which species should be the national fish. Fish by their very nature are often hidden away from view so it’s easy for people to forget about them, but they play an integral role in the ecosystem and, that aside, are fascinating to watch. The list started out as 40 species from fresh and salt water. It has now been narrowed down by a public vote to these top ten fish:
European Bass (seabass)
Three Spined Stickleback
It’s a healthy mix of fresh and saltwater some of them can enter both! Species like sticklebacks and basking sharks also have little angling value, so shows it’s not just anglers voting but a wider audience. You might wonder why we need a fish vote. Well, its highlighting a group of species we just don’t think about enough, and the problems they face such as pollution, habitat loss and invasive species.
The response has been fantastic from many groups such as the Angling Trust, Canal & River Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, Wild Trout Trust and Environment Agency to name a few, who have helped publicise the vote. BBC Springwatch were keen to get involved and on the 15th of June the results from the vote will be aired live for everyone to find out, so keep you eyes peeled and get voting!
I’ve encouraged many groups to champion a species and was delighted when the Freshwater Habitats Trust agreed to champion the stickleback. They are a species that often ignites a childhood passion for nature with the stereotypical jam jar and net. Beyond that they have to be one of the most interesting species we have with a courtship display and the males that guard the eggs, which is unusual among UK fish. They even have a smaller cousin the nine spined stickleback, though its not as widespread.
Voting only takes a minute and helps promote UK fish species so get voting and spread the word!