Population of freshwater fishes in decline: 1/3 of human population at risk of its aftermath

Freshwater fishes are in danger of extinction due to human activity, which threatens the health, food security and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.

Rivers, lakes, reservoirs, creeks, and wetlands are some of the places which inhabit freshwater – and is home to around a quarter of all vertebrate species, as well as half of the world’s fish species, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Even though they cover less than 1 percent of Earth’s surface, they’re one of the most important ecosystems that support daily life in the planet, as roughly two billion people rely on these waterways for their drinking water, and at least 200 million depend on it for food, while 60 million people make it a source of livelihood.

According to the research of S.J. Ormerod, fish are commonly the most dominant organisms in the freshwater ecosystem, they take the role as scavengers, predators and prey, and also as a regulatory and foundational function in this delicate system,

Healthy freshwater ecosystems would harbor healthier freshwater fish, although the opposite may also be true.

In 2020 alone, there’s reports that 16 freshwater species have been declared extinct, which totals the extinction of freshwater species to eighty; with one-third of all freshwater fishes facing extinction.

“There’s no mystery about why freshwater fish numbers is falling so precipitously: habitat degradation, poorly planned hydropower, pollution, over-abstraction of water, unsustainable sand mining, the introduction of invasive non-native species, wildlife crime and, of course, climate change are among the factors pushing fish populations to the brink” stated by Dr Jon Hutton, a WWF Executive Director.

To combat this, organizations such as World Wildlife Fund, urge governments to cooperate in accomplishing the “Bending the Curve of Global Freshwater Biodiversity Loss: An Emergency Recovery Plan’, it’s goals would be to implement actions that would benefit and protect the Freshwater wildlife – examples of actions would be accelerate the implementation of environmental flows, improve water quality to sustain aquatic life, protect and restore critical habitats, and manage exploitation of freshwater species and riverine aggregates