Unsustainable fishing practices and damming have put many of the world’s species of fish on the endangered list. Aquatic ecosystems are very fragile, and fish-life plays a major role in the food chain. When one fish is threatened, it throws the whole ecosystem out of balance and can cause a domino effect that kills every species of plant and animal in the area only to be replaced with foreign ones that further deplete and threaten a larger area. It might not seem like such a big deal right away – until you learn that a huge number of humans rely on marine life for subsistence and employment. And a substantial portion of the world’s oxygen is created by marine plant-life.
In this gallery you can learn about the Chinese Paddlefish, the Northern Buefin Tuna, the Siberian and Alabama Sturgeon, the Silver Shark, the Alabama Shad, the Wild Common Carp, and the Clanwilliam Redfin.
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Fish all over the world are threatened for various reasons, but they are almost always human ones. Dams separate fish populations making it impossible to migrate with seasons and mate safely. Isolating populations also makes them susceptible to predators and pollution. Pollution isn’t always immediately apparent because the source of toxins might be many miles away from the affected area where a vulnerable species lives. As if all that weren’t enough, human beings are hunting and eating endangered fish or killing them for their eggs. It’s important to know that even if the can says it’s one kind of caviar, you might be eating another, poached species’ eggs that were mixed up with the legal ones in order to cut corners and continue supplies during off-seasons. Bodies of water are hard to police, and the penalties in place to punish poachers often amount to a slap on the wrist.
Here’s a list of even more endangered species that live in the water, including some air-breathers like whales, manatees, and dolphins. And be sure to check out the most beautiful endangered mammals.
Gallery image credits: Chinese Paddlefish, Northern Buefin Tuna, Siberian Sturgeon, Alabama Sturgeon, Silver Shark, Alabama Shad, Wild Common Carp, Clanwilliam Redfin