Grab a pair of polaring sunglasses and walk along a riverbank and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll see lurking in the depths. This new poll hopes to generate more public interest in fish.

The UK National Fish Vote has been organised by ‘Fish Twitcher’ Jack Perks with the support of organisations such as Shark Trust, Sustainable Eel Group, Institute of Fisheries Management and ARKive.

“We’ve had votes on our favourite flowers, insects and birds but not fish,” says Perks, “I see this poll as a celebration of our finned fauna.”

There are about 400 fish species in British waters so a shortlist of 40 species has been compiled by a group of experts, including top anglers and fishery scientists, to make the voting process easier.

Many species on the list are under threat from overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. The aim of the vote is to highlight the importance of fish to the ecosystem and encourage people to familiarise themselves with species they don’t know much about.

You can find out about each fish nominated before you vote and voting is open to anyone until 27 February 2016.

The 10 fish with the most votes will go through to the final where there will be another round of voting that will close on 26 March 2016 (you won’t need to vote again if you have voted in the first stage).

The winner will be announced in May 2016 (exact date to be confirmed).


Jo PriceDeputy editor, BBC Wildlife Magazine