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After a hundred years, salmon swim by the Eiffel tower again

Atlantic salmon have returned to the Seine river reports the AFP. Absent for nearly a century, the salmon have returned entirely of their own volition: no reintroduction efforts were undertaken.

“There are more and more fish swimming up the Seine,” said Bernard Breton, a top official at France’s National Federation for Fishing, told AFP. “This year the numbers have exceeded anything we could have imagined: I would not be surprised if we had passed the 1,000 mark.”

Atlantic salmon used to be plentiful in the Seine, but disappeared in the early 20th Century due to dams and chemical pollution. The reason for the salmon’s return is that Seine is cleaner. In the late 1990s France began a large-scale effort to clean-up the Seine, including a new water purification plant.

Cleaning up the river has brought back other species, as well. The record of fish in the Seine jumped from a low of four species in 1995 to 32 species today.

The Seine begins in northern France passes through Paris and empties in the English Channel.

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