I'll Have the Fish and Chips (Hold the Fish)

One-third of Europe's freshwater fish face extinction, according to new research from the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

The study found that 12 of Europe's 522 known freshwater fish species are already extinct and another 200 are seriously threatened by human development, agriculture and industry. The IUCN says "This is a much higher level of threat than is facing either Europe's birds or mammals."

The seven-year study also looked at 24 marine and 33 introduced (foreign) freshwater fish species that are found in Europe's freshwaters.

Species at risk include:

  • The critically endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla), whose population is only at 1-5% of pre-1980 levels
  • The endangered Jarabugo (Anaecypris hispanica) of Spain and Portugal, which has lost 50% of its population in the last 10 years, and whose remaining population exists in fragmented clusters
  • The critically endangered Chornaya gudgeon (Gobio delyamurei), found in just a 1 kilometer section of a single river in the Ukraine
  • And the critically endangered Ammersee kilch (Coregonus bavaricus), which lives in one German lake and has only been spotted three times in the last seven years

The IUCN publishes the annual Red List of Endangered Species and conducts crucial research and conservation projects around the world.

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