'Undervalued' freshwater fish in decline with a third of species facing extinction

'Undervalued' freshwater fish in decline with a third of species facing extinction

LONDON — Nearly a third of all freshwater fish species are threatened by extinction, according to a new report released by 16 conservation groups on Tuesday. "The World’s Forgotten Fishes" says that 80 freshwater species — which make up more than half of all the world’s species — have already been declared extinct, with 16 disappearing in 2020 alone. Migratory populations have declined by more than three-quarters since the 1970s, while populations of larger species, weighing more than 60 pounds, have fallen by an even more “catastrophic” 94 percent, it said. While freshwater fish are important for the healthy functioning of the world’s rivers, lakes and wetlands, millions of people around the world also depend on them for food security and their livelihoods, including in vulnerable and indigenous communities. Their rapid decline could therefore put societies and economies across the globe in peril, the report said. Conservation groups behind the report, including World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Global Wildlife Conservation, point to a combination of pressures on global freshwater fish populations, including habitat degradation, damming and draining of …
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