Experts to discuss reintroduction of Burbot to UK

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Fisheries experts are meeting to discuss the possibility of reintroducing an extinct freshwater cod into the UK.

The Burbot, Lota lota, which can reach 150cm in length and weigh up to 34kg, was a native British fish but is thought to have been extinct since the 1970s. Despite being found in most books on British freshwater fishes, few people have ever seen one. However, the species is still found elsewhere in Europe.

Keith Easton of the Environment Agency told The Huddersfield Daily Examiner: "It is my feeling that it might be possible for them to be stocked, but it needs to be looked at properly.

"The problem will be political as to get them in from overseas you need a stocking licence and we will only be able to get one of these if we can prove the species is extinct. How do you do that with a fish?"

The talks will take place at Brooksby Melton College in Melton Mowbray, which trains professionals to work in the fish farming, aquaculture and aquatic retail sectors. The event will also discuss measures for the protection of carp, eels and dace.