Fish species on brink of extinction as water quality declines

The Yangtze River is home to 424 types of fish, of which 183 are endemic, and the categories of freshwater fish in the river comprise 33 percent of the national total. But President Xi Jinping has said that the country’s longest river is almost a “fish desert”.

The Yangtze River Dolphin was declared functionally extinct in 2006, there were only about 1,000 finless porpoise remaining in the Yangtze by the middle of this year and the Chinese paddlefish has not appeared in the river since 2003. The Chinese sturgeon, Chinese sucker fish, Chinese rock carp and Dabry’s sturgeon – all endemic to the Yangtze – are also on the brink of extinction.