Giant Amazon arapaima fish may be threatened by overfishingJanuary 5th, 2010 - 3:38 pm ICT by ANI
London, January 5 (ANI): Reports indicate that the arapaima, a giant species of fish that lurks in the Amazon river, may be threatened by overfishing.
According to a report by BBC News, studies reveal that errors in the classification of the species could mean that it is being pushed closer to the edge of extinction than thought.
The arapaima is the largest freshwater fish with scales in the world.
But there may actually be four species rather than one, and a lack of research and management may allow some to be fished to extinction.
The threat to the future of these fish has been revealed in research conducted by Dr Leandro Castello of the Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, US, and Professor Donald Stewart of the State University of New York in Syracuse, US.
They have reviewed what is known about populations of the arapaima, and conducted detailed investigations into the status of the fish in the wild.
Previously, it was thought there was one species of arapaima, which also goes by the common names pirarucu or paiche.
However, in an ongoing study, Professor Stewart has analysed nearly all preserved specimens of supposed arapaima available in museums in the world.
So far, he has only found one specimen of Arapaima gigas.
The others are suspected to be closely related species, including some as yet unreported.
“Our new analyses indicate that there are at least four species of arapaima,” said Dr Castello.
“So, until further field surveys of appropriate areas are completed, we will not know if Arapaima gigas is extinct or still swimming about,” he added.
Research also shows that fishermen are putting populations of the fish under severe pressure.
Because of the fish’s huge size and habit of coming to the surface, it has long been a favoured fish to catch, with fisherman using harpoons and gill nets to land their prey.
Fishermen have been catching large numbers of arapaima in this way since the 1800s.
But now, while a few populations are increasing, others are being overfished, according to the researchers.
While Brazil implemented regulations to manage arapaima fisheries some 20 years ago, most fishermen do not follow the regulations.”Arapaima can be viewed as badly overexploited and under some level of threat of extinction,” said Dr Castello. (ANI)
- Is overfishing killing the hilsa in Bengal? (With Image) (June 5 is World Environment Day) - Jun 05, 2012
- Steve Murawski Asserts That Overfishing In America Has Come To A Close After A Lengthy Time - Jan 11, 2011
- China's aquatic diversity in danger: Experts - Apr 06, 2011
- Steve Murawski Says Overfishing Has Ended - Jan 11, 2011
- Fish stocks depleting along Indian coasts: Greenpeace - Jun 08, 2012
- No fish will be left to catch, expert warns Bangladesh - Feb 01, 2011
- People throng Kochi aquatic exhibition - Dec 18, 2010
- One of the world's largest freshwater fish on the verge of extinction - Sep 30, 2009
- Earth's ancient marine life could reveal what triggers mass extinctions - Dec 31, 2010
- A fifth of world's life at extinction risk - Oct 27, 2010
- Yangtze cowfish on verge of extinction - Mar 12, 2012
- Wildlife under unprecedented threat from natural disasters - Dec 23, 2011
- Isolation of Great Barrier Reef could lead to extinction of marine life - Jul 07, 2010
- Taking help of math to predict, prevent future extinctions - Jan 26, 2011
- Overfishing threatens key species in Mexico: Greenpeace - Feb 17, 2010
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,