Research and analysis

The identification of oestrogenic effects in wild fish

The aim of this research was to assess the extent and severity of oestrogenic effects in fish in rivers that receive sewage effluent and to evaluate links to water quality and effiuent inputs.

Documents

The Identification of Oestrogenic Effects in Wild Fish

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The Identification of Oestrogenic Effects in Wild Fish - Phase II

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Details

In the early 1980s, routine biological assessments of roach Rutilus rotilus from the River Lea, Hertfordshire, revealed abnormalities to reproductive organs. In particular, male roach were found to be hermaphrodite, (better termed, intersex) with eggs within the testis, indicating that the males had been feminised. Subsequent research identified sewage effiuents as inducing oestrogenic (feminising) impact on fish. Although the oestrogenic nature of sewage effiuents had been established, the extent of impacts on wild fish in UK rivers was not clear.

Published 1 January 1998