To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of levels of premature fish deaths in (a) rivers and (b) other fresh waterways this June; how many such deaths there were in each of the last five years; and what assessment she has made of the potential causes of changes in the levels of such deaths.
Data from the Environment Agency shows that by the end of June 2023 the number of confirmed incidents involving fish kills was higher than in the last five years. However, by the end of August the total number of confirmed cases was similar to that in the last five years. Extreme weather including continuous hot temperatures and thunderstorms as experienced in June can be dangerous for fish. Fish death incidents are not always due to a single cause and it is often the combination of several factors including temperature, water levels or flows, algal blooms, pollution and fish disease that are responsible. The Plan for Water sets out broad actions to improve England’s water quality and aquatic species, including reducing pollution from agriculture, sewage, wastewater and transport.