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Living Planet Index
for Migratory Freshwater Fish

What is the Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fish?

The Living Planet Index for Migratory Freshwater Fish is the first comprehensive global report on the status of migratory fish. The technical report finds migratory freshwater fish are under immense threat from human-made impacts and urgent action is required to halt and then reverse the alarming decline.

“The statistics are shocking but we know migratory fish populations can bounce back. We need to act now before populations get to the point where they are too low to recover. Now is the time to value migratory fish and the rivers that sustain them.”

Herman Wanningen, Founder of the World Fish Migration Foundation

Further work and research are needed on the global status and trends of migratory fish, especially given their economic, environmental, cultural, and recreational importance around the world. Additionally, more research and trials on effective management strategies are needed to protect populations around the globe. The collaborators on this report hope that these findings will encourage countries to prioritize freshwater protections and effective management strategies.
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Living planet index in the news


Migratory river fish populations plunge 76% in past 50 years
Migratory freshwater fish have dropped 76 percent in less than 50 years
Riviervissen gaan in dramatisch tempo achteruit, onder meer door dammen
La population mondiale de poissons migrateurs a baissé de 76 % entre 1970 et 2016
Los peces migradores de agua dulce reducen su número un 76 % en cinco décadas
Análisis de las poblaciones de peces migratorios de agua dulce reporta una disminución promedio a escala global de 76% entre 1970 y 2016
La población de peces migratorios de agua dulce disminuyó un 76% en los últimos 50 años, según el Índice Living Planet
Se redujo la población de peces migratorios de agua dulce un 75 %
Migratory freshwater fish in peril as report shows population plunge
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Fish Facts


Migratory fish support us.

Migratory fish, such as salmon, trout and Amazonian catfish, are vital to meet the food security needs, as well as support the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Critical role

Migratory fish play a critical role in keeping our rivers, lakes and wetlands healthy by supporting a complex food web.

A big decline

Globally, monitored populations of migratory freshwater fish have declined by an average of 76% between 1970 and 2016.

Decline around the world

Average declines have been more pronounced in Europe (-93%) and Latin America & Caribbean (-84%).

Lower declines

Lower declines in North America (-28%) suggest that management of fisheries could result in a lower average decline in abundance.

The biggest drivers

The biggest drivers of population decline are habitat degradation, change and loss accounting for nearly 50% of threats.

Unsustainable fishing

Over-exploitation, such as unsustainable fishing and accidental by-catch account for around one-third of the threats to these populations.


Many artificial barriers, such as dams, culverts, road crossings and weirs impede the movement of migratory fish and reduce their ability to complete their lifecycle.


Fish and fish-byproducts represent one of the world’s most traded products within the food sector.

In less than 50 years, we have seen an overall average decline of 76% in monitored migratory freshwater fish populations.

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How can you help?


our work.

There is still an opportunity to turn the tide through educating other around the world, increasing scientific research, and developing practical solutions to restore and protect these animals. It is our challenge to act together to make a difference.

You can support us by donating.


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