Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers


Series 1 - Episode 5 Yangtze



Jeremy Wade is on the Yangtze in China, where the river’s turbid, tea-brown waters hold little life. The obvious reasons are pollution and over-fishing, but there’s a non-obvious reason, too: dredging. Vast amounts of sand are gouged from the river bed to make the concrete used by China’s construction industry, and in the process the waters are muddied.

The low visibility threatens predators such as sturgeon and paddlefish, but Wade does spot a pod of the world’s only species of freshwater porpoise – weird-looking things. He also visits the Three Gorges Dam, the scale of which is hard to fathom. Its upstream reservoir is 400 miles long.


The Yangtze - the longest river in Asia and the third-longest in the world - was once home to rare aquatic mammals and prodigious quantities of fish. Curious to know what still lurks in its murky currents, Jeremy explores Shanghai, the huge Three Gorges Dam and the wild uplands of Yunnan. The people he meets make him question his own preconceptions as a biologist and naturalist.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Jeremy Wade
Director Stephen Shearman
Executive Producer Harry Marshall
Executive Producer Laura Marshall
Executive Producer Stephen McQuillan
Executive Producer Stephen Gooder
Series Producer Andie Clare
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