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Many freshwater fish species have declined by 76 percent in less than 50 years: study by STEFAN LOVGREN July 31,2020   |  Source: Nat Geo

Migratory freshwater fisḥ are among the most threatened animals on the planet, a new report by a coalition of environmental organizations shows.

The global assessment, described as the first
of its kind, found that populations of migratory freshwater fish have declined by 76 percent between 1970 and 2016—a higher rate of decline than both marine and terrestrial migratory species.

“We think migratory freshwater fish might be in even greater peril” than the dramatic drop the report indicates, says the report’s lead author, Stefanie Deinet of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). “Adding currently missing information from tropical regions where threats of habitat loss and degradation, overexploitation, and climate change have been increasing, will surely bend the curve of loss downwards.”

Published Tuesday on the website of the World Fish Migration Foundation, a nonprofit conservation organization, the study draws upon The Living Planet Index, a database of global biodiversity managed by the ZSL and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. It finds that Europe has seen the greatest decline in migratory freshwater fish—with populations there plummeting a staggering 93 percent in the past five decades—followed by Latin America and the Caribbean with an 84

 

© 1996-2015 National Geographic Society

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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