Overfishing, the exploitation of their habitats, climate change and pollution are some of the most common causes why some species of fish and other marine animals are currently in danger of extinction.
Although counting the number of specimens that exist of each species is not an easy task, since aquatic animals are not kept in fixed places, there are several clues that warn us of the risk that some classes of fish run.
From AgroCorrn, we want to present you 33 fish in danger of extinction . Learn about some of the most threatened aquatic species on the planet, their common and scientific names, their characteristics and learn to recognize them with photos.
- Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
- Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
- Sunfish (Mola mola)
- Pez betta (Betta splendens)
- Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
- Giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)
- Other endangered fish species
Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
The bluefin tuna , also known by other names such as bluefin tuna, giant bluefin tuna or bluefin tuna in the Atlantic , or just tuna is a fish formidable size, can exceed 400kg. Since ancient times, this animal native to the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas, such as the Mediterranean, has stood out for its enormous strength, speed and agility in the water.
The total population of bluefin tuna in the Atlantic Ocean has been reduced by up to 90% in recent years, and in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea it is already considered the extinct species.
The main cause that bluefin tuna is threatened and without sightings of improvement is due to the enormous demand for this meat, especially in Asian countries, where it is considered a delicacy. The great social demand causes marketing prices to rise and fishermen opt for overfishing to obtain great benefits, even if this means subjecting the species to the impossibility of reproducing and staying alive. Human exploitation for consumption purposes seriously threatens the species. Therefore, if we continue at this rate, the spectacular bluefin tuna could permanently disappear from the planet’s waters in just a few years.
Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
One of the most famous fish on coral reefs, the Napoleon fish , also called a humphead or Maori fish , is easily recognized by its enormous size of around 200 kg in weight and more than two meters in length.
Another of the typical characteristics of these fish are the protrusions that protrude from their head, something that gives them a very unique appearance. In addition, they are peaceful and calm in nature and feed mainly on crustaceans.
On the other hand, the Napoleon fish is a hermaphroditic animal, it is born as a female and can transform into a male during the first two years of life. This peculiarity is one of the reasons why it is on this fearsome list today.
By having a fairly slow reproduction process and being a fish usually fished for commercialization, at present the Napoleon fish is in danger of extinction , and its specimens continue to decline year after year, according to the IUCN. Once again, overfishing is once again the protagonist of the threat situation for marine animals.
This is one of the rare marine animals in danger of extinction . If you are interested in knowing these rare species at risk, in this other AgroCorrn article we will show you 20.
Sunfish (Mola mola)
The sunfish , or also called mola mola, is known worldwide for holding the title of the heaviest fish on the planet . It can exceed a ton in weight and measure up to 3.5 meters long. Awesome, right?
Its physique also surprises its flattened and oval shape, without tail and with large fins. Regarding its habitat, the sunfish lives in seas and depths of tropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and even Indian oceans, where it feeds on a great variety and quantity of food: jellyfish, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, etc.
Unfortunately, this unique fish is classified in a state of vulnerability according to the IUCN. Some of the threats it faces are centered on bycatch and the commercialization of its meat in some markets in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Pez betta (Betta splendens)
The fish bett to Siam or fighting fish are very striking and stylish appearance. Its vibrant colors, which can vary between green, blue, gray, red and brown, along with its showy fins have earned it a precious space in the aquariums of many countries. However, betta fish are naturally native to the Mekong Basin of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, and their feeding habits can be omnivorous or herbivorous.
The Siamese fighting fish measures around 6.5 centimeters, although the female specimens are somewhat larger. In addition, its territorial character must be highlighted, mainly in the case of males, who can become aggressive.
The IUCN red list describes the situation of this fish in a state of vulnerability , with a tendency to decrease, which leaves it close to the danger of extinction in the wild. As is logical, the commercialization of this species given the high demand to expose them in aquariums represents a serious danger for these fish. In addition, other causes, such as the destruction of its natural habitat in aquatic ecosystems due to the pollution of its waters, is alarmingly reducing the possibility of feeding and reproduction of the species.
Whale shark (Rhincodon typus)
At around 12 meters in length, the whale shark is undoubtedly the largest fish on the entire planet. Its natural habitat spans warm-water oceans and seas, although specimens have also been sighted in colder waters.
In addition to its size, its white belly and its grayish back full of spots and lines of whitish colors are striking. This pattern is unique in each specimen.
It feeds on algae, krill , phytoplankton and nekton, although it can often eat crustaceans, squid and schools of small fish. However, despite its size, the species does not pose any danger to humans. In fact, they are playful and affectionate towards divers.
Although the total number of specimens is unknown, according to the IUCN red list this precious fish is also in a threatened state . The main reason why the species sneaks into this list is industrial fishing , which is why numerous restrictions currently ensure the safety of the species by prohibiting and penalizing its fishing, import, export or sale of whale sharks. .
Giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)
The giant catfish , Mekong catfish or Mekong giant catfish is a freshwater fish, specifically from the Mekong River, where, hopefully, some specimens can still be found.
As its name already suggests, it is a huge fish, around 3 meters long and 300 kilos. This has led him to get the title of the largest freshwater fish in the world . An herbivore in adulthood, the giant catfish is cannibalistic during its first months of life, in addition to feeding on zooplankton. In addition, it is the animal with the most teeth in the world , as it has more than 9,000.
Regarding its conservation status, this fish is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN, so the species could be considered extinct in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated that there are no more than 90 specimens left in the entire river.
The hydroelectric dam built in Mekong in 1994 is one of the protagonists of the sad situation faced by the giant catfish. This has caused a significant decrease in the quality of the water. It also highlights, as usual, overfishing. Despite its ban, these fish are still often caught.
Other endangered fish species
To finish mentioning some of the endangered species of fish around the world , we leave here more common and scientific names:
- European common stingray, noriega or Norwegian stingray ( Dipturus batis )
- Pelagic stingray ( Pteroplatytrygon purplish )
- Mantarraya the giant manta ( Manta birostris )
- Common sturgeon ( Acipenser sturio )
- European eel ( Anguilla anguilla )
- Swordfish ( Xiphias gladius )
- Hammerhead shark ( Sphyrna mokarran )
- Tiburón Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)
- Wide-mouth shark or wide-mouth shark ( Megachasma pelagios )
- Tiburón Thailand ( Pangasius sanitwongsei )
- Ganges shark ( Glyphis gangeticus )
- Mako shark, black shark or long-finned shark ( Isurus paucus )
- Pez tigre Goliat (Hydrocynus vittatus)
- Southern tuna ( Thunnus maccoyii )
- Salmón chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
- Pijota, whiting, European or fished hake ( Merluccius merluccius )
- Pardilla or boga of arched mouth ( Iberochondrostoma lemmingii )
- Chinese paddlefish ( Psephurus gladius )
- Banded Neolebias ( Neolebias lozii )
- Samarugo ( Hispanic Valencia )
- Lake Garda carpione or carpione ( Salmo carpio )
- Trucha steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
- Trucha apache (Oncorhynchus apache)
- Turkey trout ( Salmo platycephalus )
- Coelacanth of Comoros or Comoros ( Latimeria chalumnae )
- Totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi)
- Pregnant ( Astroblepus ubidiai )
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