World's first fish doorbell pressed 32,000 times in first two weeks
Since the world’s first fish doorbell was unveiled in Utrecht slightly over two weeks ago, the bell has already been rung over 32 thousand times.
People from all across the world are able to monitor marine life in the city's central Oudegracht canal via an underwater camera. Should a viewer take notice of a passing fish, they can ‘ring’ an online bell at which point a lock keeper receives a notification. When the lock keeper notices a number of fish have aggregated in the same spot, he or she can open the port to let the fish swim through.
The municipality is happy the fish doorbell has attracted attention globally. “It is beyond our expectations. We want to show people that the Oudegracht is more than a body of water where boats sail through”, a spokesperson said to RTV Utrecht.
Fish typically migrate from the Oudgracht to the Kromme Rijn in spring to lay eggs. During this time of year, there are usually few boats which means that the locks do not open to let fish pass.
Urban ecologist, Anne Nijs, was astounded at the amount of activity taking place below the surface of the water. “Perch, pike, a bindweed, maybe an eel. I did not know that are so many fish swimming through Utrecht. This is an eye-opener for me”, the urban ecologist said.
Nijs said she wishes to further examine which other species call the waters of Utrecht their home. She recommended watching the fish doorbell in the late afternoon/early evening hours when the fish are most active.
The camera will remain active until the end of May when the fish have finished their migration for the most part.