So what have we learned about Britain's freshwater fishes?
Better understanding of our fish fauna is therefore important, in terms of the ways they enrich our appreciation of the natural world but also in our ability to value and protect it. So it is important that we overcome a historic perception of separateness between freshwater fishes and other constituents of British wildlife. At the time of writing, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a membership well in excess of one million. Birds are far more visible than life under water, so perhaps an aspiration to set up an equivalent fish-oriented body attracting such a large number of subscribers is fanciful. There has also been a slow but cumulatively substantial shift in paradigm of fishery management from the latter half of the twentieth century. Fish are far more than something enjoyed in batter or observed from a river bridge or swimming in a tank in a dentist's waiting room.