The world’s freshwater fishes are in “terrible trouble,” with nearly a third facing extinction if humanity doesn’t swiftly change its ways to prevent major losses that would impact not only the species at risk but also hundreds of millions of people, according to a report released Tuesday by 16 conservation groups.

Published ahead of a crucial United Nations biodiversity summit scheduled for May, “The World’s Forgotten Fishes” details the “dazzling diversity” of freshwater fishes; their importance to food security, jobs, and ecosystems; threats posed by current human behavior; and how scientists suggest tackling the extinction crisis.

Although the various species of freshwater fish provide livelihoods for 60 million people and feed at least 200 million globally, particularly vulnerable and Indigenous communities across Africa, Asia and South America, when it comes to conservation, they are “overlooked and undervalued,” writes World Wildlife Fund International (WWF) executive director Jon Hutton in the report’s foreword.

“Freshwater fishes are also critical for the health of all kinds of ecosystems, and support food webs that extend from birds to bears, and from mountains to mangroves,” he adds. “Beyond that they drive multibillion-dollar industries for anglers and aquarium-lovers alike, while historically they’ve been entwined in cultures on every continent.”

As Hutton outlines: “There’s no mystery about why freshwater fish numbers are 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.”

The report from WWF and other organizations calls for urgent action to safeguard the 18,075 known species of freshwater fishes, warning 80 species have already been declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species — 16 in just 2020. Over the past half-century, populations of migratory freshwater fish have dropped by 76% and mega-fish by a “catastrophic” 94%.

“This can’t continue,” the report says. “Humanity can’t afford to lose any more of the world’s forgotten fishes or the freshwater ecosystems they inhabit.”

WWF global freshwater lead Stuart Orr explained that “nowhere is the world’s nature crisis more acute than in our rivers, lakes, and wetlands, and the clearest indicator of the damage we are doing is the rapid decline in freshwater fish populations. They are the aquatic version of the canary in the coalmine, and we must heed the warning.”

“Despite their importance to local communities and Indigenous people across the globe, freshwater fish are invariably forgotten and not factored into development decisions about hydropower dams or water use or building on floodplains,” he noted. “Freshwater fish matter to the health of people and the freshwater ecosystems that all people and all life on land depend on. It’s time we remembered that.”

Specifically, the report highlights a six-pillar “emergency recovery plan” from scientists and freshwater experts:

  • Let rivers flow more naturally.
  • Improve water quality in freshwater ecosystems.
  • Protect and restore critical habitats.
  • End overfishing and unsustainable sand mining in rivers and lakes.
  • Prevent and control invasions by non-native species.
  • Protect free-flowing rivers and remove obsolete dams.

The report notes that the plan is echoed in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s fifth Global Biodiversity Outlook — which was released in September, just before a summit on the subject, and served as a final report card on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. World leaders are set to adopt a global biodiversity framework at the May meeting in China, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WWF also put out a biodiversity publication in September — the Living Planet Report 2020, which found an average 68% decrease in population sizes of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish between 1970 and 2016. The group responded by reiterating its call for a New Deal for Nature and People, which Orr referenced Tuesday.

“The good news is that we know what needs to be done to safeguard freshwater fishes,” said Orr. “Securing a New Deal for the world’s freshwater ecosystems will bring life back to our dying rivers, lakes, and wetlands. It will bring freshwater fish species back from the brink too — securing food and jobs for hundreds of millions, safeguarding cultural icons, boosting biodiversity, and enhancing the health of the freshwater ecosystems that underpin our well-being and prosperity.”

“What we need now is to recognize the value of freshwater fish and fisheries, and for governments to commit to new targets and solutions implementation, as well as prioritizing which freshwater ecosystems need protection and restoration,” he said. “We also need to see partnerships and innovation through collective action involving governments, businesses, investors, civil society, and communities.”

Originally published by Common Dreams.

The post 1 in 3 Freshwater Fishes — Vital to Food and Jobs for Millions — Face Extinction appeared first on Children’s Health Defense.


Thanks to your donations, we can move to the next step.  We have filed to incorporate Awake Canada as a registered non profit charitable organization.  To be transparent, I have posted the receipts below.

For those that do not know why we did this, let me explain.   We are going to start using corporate clout to tackle some of the companies that are violating our rights.  Our first target is Facebook Canada for the unlawful censorship, banning, and shadow banning of Canadian Citizens.  Facebook is a platform, not a publisher.  They can write all the mumbo jumbo they want into their terms and conditions, but it does not excuse them from medical liability if people are harmed by them censoring doctors, and lawyers about what is really going on with Covid.

As a registered member of Awake Canada, if we push to class action, you will be automatically entered into this class action and dismissed if you have not ever had a facebook account.   My lawyer will inform me on this as we move to this process.  We are going to start by placing an injunction on my personal account, removing all bans, and shadow bans, and the Awake Canada facebook page.  Any action they take against this page or the content, will be challenged legally.  Be sure you are a member of that page if you are not.   You can join our Facebook Here.

We are temporarily going to pause donations, until the registration process is complete and a new bank account for Awake Canada is setup.  Separating my personal affairs from this corporation is KEY to being successful in our campaigns.

Stay tuned for further updates!

Help us spread the word, by sharing these vital links below:

To see Bonnie Henry’s emails proving knowledge of harm of vaccines:

To see the legal challenge that is happening worldwide:

To see hundreds of hours of doctors speaking out:

Important legal documents to your rights as Canadian citizen:

The most important documentary on what is happening in the world right now:

Proof of Genocide:

Dr. David Martin lays it out for you:

The only proof anyone should need:

Alarming uptick in cancers since jab rollout:

3 times more covid deaths since vaccine rollout:

One America Insurance CEO reports 40% increase in death claims since vaccine rollout: