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.
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.
“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.”
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Freshwater migratory fish species need protection
average decrease in monitored fish populations
Of the world’s longer rivers remain free flowing
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.
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 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.
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. 4>
How can you help?
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.
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