The ocean’s fish population is shrinking year after year. Although there are fishing licenses that are suppose to help regulate population, it has yet to prevent the endangerment of our ocean creatures. Overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution are the main causes of the ocean’s population decline. As human population increases, the population of ocean wildlfe has shown a decrease since the ocean is a large source of protein for the human diet.
The ten most endangered fishes, in no particular order are
1. Atlantic Halibut: These fishes are found in the North Atlantic Ocean and have a lifespan of fifty years. The Atlantic Halibut can grow up to nine feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. These fishes do not become sexually mature until the age of ten or fourteen which is late. They are susceptible to overfishing and are considered to be endangered by the IUCN. The United States has banned the fishing of the Atlantic Halibut off of coastal waters.
2. Beluga Sturgeon: These fishes are native to the Caspoan sea and are known for their fillets and their eggs for caviar which is a delicacy. These fishes grow up to fifteen feet long, can weigh more than a ton, and live up to a hundred years. Because of their popular eggs the Beluga Sturgeon are overfished and have lost 90% of their historic spawning habitat. The IUCN has classified this specie and their population is expected to continue to decline.
3. Acadian Redfish: Found in the North Atlantic, these fishes grow up to twenty inches and live up to fifty years. These fishes are victims of overfishing and trawling even though the IUCN has declared them endangered and outlawed their catch, pirate fishing still occurs.
4. Orange Roughy: The Orange Roughy can be found off the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, Namibia, and the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. They are also known as “slimehead” have a life expectancy of 149 years! Overfishing and trawling are also the main causes of their decline in population.
5. Blue Fin Tuna: They can be found in the northern Atlantic Ocean . The tuna can grow up to ten feet and can weigh as much as 1,400 pounds. These fishes are sold at $100,000 per fish. These fishes are widely overfished and are considered to be critically endangered.
There are more species endangered. The ones listed are just a few out of the many. All the fishes listed are slow maturing fishes and due to overfishing these fishes do not re-populate fast enough to escape the endangerment list. These fishes are endangered because of humans and now it is our responsibility to prevent their extinction.
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