3 September 2018
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch finds that rowers are not the only semiaquatic mammals to be found on the Thames.
In 1957, the Thames Estuary was deemed ‘biologically dead’ and largely devoid of wildlife. By 2017, however, the Zoological Society of London found more than 3,500 harbour and grey seals living in the Thames – a good indicator of the health of the river. The Port of London Authority has a page on their website titled Marine Mammals in the Thames. It begins:
With cleaner waters, we are fortunate to welcome more marine mammals to the Thames. Marine mammals that visit the Thames regularly are grey seals, harbour seals and porpoises. Less regularly we see dolphins and whales. If you spot a marine mammal in the upper reaches of the tidal Thames or you see a marine mammal that you think is in distress, please contact Vessel Traffic Services on 0208 855 0315. They will direct craft to investigate and to take appropriate action if necessary.
A quick search of the Internet found that seals hitching a ride on rowing and other boats are a not uncommon occurrence.