The first marine fish was officially declared extinct due to humans. She disappeared 1.5 centuries ago

The first marine fish was officially declared extinct due to humans. She disappeared 1.5 centuries ago

December 25, 22:33 Share:

The Javan stingray is considered extinct due to humans (Photo: Museum für Naturkunde Berlin)

Javan stingray ( Urolophus javanicus) was recognized as the first marine fish to become extinct as a result of human activity.

The only surviving example of this unique stingray was obtained from a fish market in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1862.. Despite subsequent careful market monitoring and research, no sign of the species has been found since then, says Charles Darwin University in Australia..

“Intensive and generally unregulated fishing is likely the main threat that has led to the depletion of the Java Sea ray population, with coastal fish catches in the Java Sea already declining by the 1870s. The northern coast of Java, particularly Jakarta Bay, where the species is known to have occurred, is also heavily industrialized, with significant long-term habitat loss and degradation. These effects were severe enough to unfortunately cause the species to go extinct,” says Charles Darwin University biologist Julia Constance.

More than 44,000 more species are now at risk of extinction, according to the updated Red List of Threatened Species.. The list includes, in particular, at least 120 species of marine fish. Like stingrays, many of them suffer from pollution from Atlantic salmon farms and other sources.. In addition, a quarter of all known freshwater fish species are now at risk of extinction.. 20% of them were directly affected by climate change.

“Freshwater fish make up more than half of the world's known fish species, an unfathomable diversity considering freshwater ecosystems make up only 1 percent of aquatic habitats. These diverse species are an integral part of the ecosystem and are vital to its sustainability. This is important for the billions of people who rely on freshwater ecosystems and the millions who rely on their fisheries,” says Cathy Hughes, co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Freshwater Fisheries Specialist Group.

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