Tuesday April 2, 2024


The threatened fish of the Mekong River are inching closer extinction, according to a new report that cites piling pressures on the waterway. Though the situation is serious, conservationists say it’s not too late to turn the tide for the river’s freshwater species.

The nearly 5,000-kilometer (3,000-mile) Mekong supports millions of people across six countries, from its headwaters in China to its delta in Vietnam. The river, a key vein in mainland Southeast Asia, faces a rising tide of threats, from unsustainable fishing and invasive species, to hydropower dams and sand mining, all compounded by climate change.

Nearly a fifth of the known fish species in the river are threatened to some degree with extinction, according to a recently release report, “The Mekong’s Forgotten Fishes.” The report was compiled by 25 organizations, including conservation NGOs WWF and Conservation International, and the IUCN, the global wildlife conservation authority, which is responsible for the Red List of Threatened Species.

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