The Chinese river called Yangtze is consideredThe longest river of Eurasia, because it stretches for as many as 6300 kilometers. A huge number of various fish live in it, but, like the inhabitants of many other rivers of our planet, they suffer from human activities. Plastic thrown into the river and active fishing significantly reduced the number of some animal species, and recently, Chinese researchers reported the complete extinction of some of the most freshwater fish in the world. They were called Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) and lived exclusively in the Yangtze River, eating fish and other crustaceans. But what exactly could become the reason for their mass extinction?
The Chinese scientists shared the sad news ina scientific journal called Science of the Total Environment. The aforementioned species of freshwater fish was considered functional extinct already in the distant 1993, but the Chinese authorities made every effort to preserve their population. Local journalists even called paddlers “water pandas”, indicating that they, too, are on the verge of extinction. However, apparently, nobody managed to save rare fish.
The largest freshwater fish
Chinese paddle boats were known as the mostBiggest fish in the world living in fresh waters. They were discovered in 1862 by the German zoologist Eduard von Martens and received an unusual name due to the unusual shape of the nose. The length of their body could reach three meters, and the mass - an impressive 300 kilograms. There is a rumor that once a 7-meter individual was spotted in the Yangtze River, but there is no documentary evidence of this.
It so happened that the Chinese paddlefish have noclose relatives, and their meat has long been very appreciated by culinary specialists. As a result, due to the active fishing of this species of fish, their number began to decline rapidly. In addition, aquatic inhabitants sometimes could starve to death, because their favorite small fish and crustaceans also suffer from human activities and die out.
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Notably, the last Chinese paddlefishHe died far from 2020. Researchers studied reports of paddlers in the Yangtze River from 1981 to 2003 and found that rare fish were still found in the Chinese river in those days. Based on this, they suggested that the last individual died somewhere between 2005 and 2010. To stop the extinction of other inhabitants of the Yangtze River, the Chinese authorities recently banned fishing on it for as long as 10 years.
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It is worth emphasizing that fish calledpaddlefish also inhabit the waters of the American Mississippi River. They are known as Polyodon spathula, but unlike Chinese fish, they do not have a long body and large mass. On average, their body length is about 2 meters, and the mass does not exceed 100 kilograms. As in China, the meat and caviar of these fish is highly valued, but fortunately they are not in danger of extinction.