The paddlefish is disappearing from China because of humans (as per usual these days with an endangered species). A hydroelectric dam was built near the lower portion of the Yangtze river, blocking the paddlefish from reaching its spawning grounds in the river delta. Also, because they can grow up to 25 feet long and weigh 1000 pounds, they’re a prize for fishermen. Seeing as nothing has been done about preserving the paddlefish population until it is almost too late, it’s quite possible that they will only be able to survive because of captive breeding programs.
No adult Chinese paddlefish have been caught in the Yangtze River by fishers since 2003, and no young paddlefish have been seen since 1995. They are prized for their rich, plentiful meat, and are said to have been commonly offered as gifts to the Chinese emperor during imperial times. Several dams that have been built have reduced the habitat for the paddlefish. A three-year quest to find the giant Chinese paddlefish in the Yangtze river failed to sight or catch a single individual, meaning no sightings of the fish in six years.
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