Updated: Jun 11, 2021
According to the list by the International Union for Conservation of nature, about 1098 fish species are critically endangered which is a huge sum.
Apart from having a vast role in human nutrition they have a major role in the ecosystem that’s often forgotten by the people.
So what role do fish have in the ecosystem?
Fish store a large proportion of nutrients in their tissues and transfer them further to other aquatic animals in dissolved forms. And also they make the nutrients available for the primary producers. These nutrients are mainly nitrogen and phosphorus. They are critical in supporting aquatic food webs. With other species, they exist in complex interdependency and have a larger impact on the entire habitat.
What causes the endangerment and extinction of fish?
More than 5000 species of freshwater fish are assessed to be highly in danger. There isn’t one reason for that but many, either directly or indirectly we are one among the causative agents for their extinction.
Increasing population leads to increased food demand. As it is an alternative source of income, people go overboard in exploitation causing a threat to aquatic biodiversity.
2. Environmental pollution
Despite spoiling the land and air, we humans took our next step through our agricultural and industrial needs.
Biomedical wastes, industrial wastes are said to be dumped in tonnes in the water bodies that result in significant damage to fish.
3. Climate change
Climate changes harm river flow, rainfall patterns, and temperature. Hence frequent fluctuations in the temperature affect the reproduction and overall wellbeing of the fish. With varying temperatures, it is hard for freshwater fish to migrate.
Okay! What can we do to conserve the existing species?
Species that are on the verge of extinction and that are rare can be conserved with special protection as they may get extinct either by accident or by killing.
Endangered fish species can be prevented from extinction by Conservation aquaculture, where the effective population of the endangered species is increased.
Increasing the marine reserve areas or marine protected areas, are areas where fishing is banned to protect the species and habitats. And these areas are used for educational and recreational purposes.
Increasing public awareness and specialized programs to protect biodiversity. Spreading awareness through volunteer activities and incentive programs helps in the conservation on a large scale.
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