Phosphates in the Itchen

I've never fished for salmon myself, but have enjoyed a few trips to the Itchen for grayling and the occasional trout, so this news from the Salmon & Trout Association sounds like good news.

At last some really good news to report! Following the extensive monitoring programme run by Southampton University and funded by the S&TA to establish exactly how high phosphorus levels really are in the Itchen, Vitacress, the biggest watercress producer, has recently announced its intention to go to full recirculation at its sites by the end of 2015. This will result in a significantly reduced phosphate discharge into the Itchen. There is no question that the watercress growers’ cleansing systems are the main phosphate dischargers and we applaud a development that can be used as a benchmark by other watercress growers.

The EA is shortly to grant revised permits to Itchen watercress growers and the S&TA has written to the Agency highlighting that any new permits granted from now on must conform with WFD-specified criteria regarding phosphate discharges. In short, we are on their case and will monitor this closely to ensure the these permits do, indeed, specify minimum discharge requirements.  So watch this space!

Read their phosphate blog here.