Extinction: Freshwater fish in ‘catastrophic’ decline

A report has warned of a “catastrophic” decline in freshwater fish, with nearly a third threatened by extinction.

Conservation groups said 80 species were known to have gone extinct, 16 in the last year alone.

Millions rely on freshwater fish for food and as a source of income through angling and the pet trade.

But numbers have plummeted due to pressures including pollution, unsustainable fishing, sewage, and the damming and draining of rivers and wetlands.

The World’s Forgotten Fishes report said populations of migratory fish have fallen by three-quarters in the last 50 years. Over the same period, populations of larger species, known as “megafish,” have crashed by 94%.

The World Wide Fund for Nature has called on government to restore freshwater habitats to good health via proper enforcement of existing laws, strengthening protections in environment bills and championing a strong set of global targets for the recovery of nature.

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