Four very endangered fish are the steelhead trout, the chinock salmon, the thailand giant cat fish, and the whale shark. These fish have seen their numbers decline sharply. Some of the populations of these fish are in the double digits and still declining.
According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), the bluefin tuna is the most endangered fish for 2010. Unsustainable fishing practices in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean are causing the fish to be a great risk of extinction. The WWF is calling for a temporary ban of the fish and encouraging restaurants to not serve it.
Due to longlining practices and the extreme demand for the bluefin tuna on the sushi market, the bluefin tuna populations and a variety of billfish populations have declined by 98% since the 70’s. Humans are actually harvesting bluefin at a faster rate than they can reproduce, and due to their extreme demand nothing is likely to change. A bluefin can go for upwards to $60,000 at the Tokyo Fish Market. It’s hard to blame fisherman for overfishing with the demand so high. While there are many other endangered fish species that are less known, these fish matter most to humans. Polution and dams are likely to blame for many other fish who’s populations are in decline.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has reported in their Red List of endangered species that five percent of the known species of fish worldwide are currently in danger of becoming extinct. Animal Planet ranks the top 10 species of endangered fish, in no order, as the atlantic halibut, beluga sturgeon, acadian redfish, orange roughy, winter skate, bocaccio rockfish, european eel, goliath grouper, maltese ray, and bluefin tuna. In fact, according to the WWF, the bluefin tuna is the sixth most threatened species in the world. Most of these fish populations have been decimated due to overfishing practices, but habitat loss and pollution problems have also been to blame.
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