Biology Prof. Steven Cooke and PhD student William Twardek are co-authors on a newly released global report on the status of migratory 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 report finds that a massive decline in migratory freshwater fish populations could threaten livelihoods of millions, with the following key findings:

    • Globally, monitored populations of migratory freshwater fish have declined by an average of 76 per cent between 1970 and 2016. Average declines have been more pronounced in Europe (-93 per cent) and Latin America & Caribbean (-84 per cent)
    • Lower declines in North America (-28 per cent) suggest that management of fisheries could result in a lower average decline in abundance
    • The biggest drivers of population decline are habitat degradation, alteration and loss, and over-exploitation. All of these are inextricably linked to human use and impact

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, according to a press release about the report. They also play a critical role in keeping our rivers, lakes and wetlands healthy by supporting a complex food web. Now, their populations are under immense threat from human-made impacts’ and require urgent action to halt and then reverse the alarming decline.

Migratory fish: William Twardek and Steven Cooke are co-authors on new report

PhD student William Twardek and Prof. Steven Cooke

Cooke and Twardek worked with the World Fish Migration Foundation and Zoological Society of London to produce the report, which has already received media attention from The Guardian and National Geographic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in
Share: Twitter, Facebook