African Freshwater Species Threatened with Extinction

Over 1/5 of Africa’s freshwater species are in danger of extinction.

A new study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature monitored over 5,000 species of fish, mollusks, plants, crabs and insects over a five year period and the results have been tremendously discouraging.

Twenty-one percent of the species monitored by the 200 scientists are threatened with extinction. Among the reasons cited for the decline in these species: overfishing and pollution.

Overfishing of aquatic ecosystems is responsible for threatening many species, both fish and other animals such as penguins that feed on fish. According to the report, one species of fish in Lake Malawi has declined 70 percent in the past decade.

Pollution has also been cited as a threat to mollusks in the Congo River.

Humans are the greatest threat to all endangered species, by means of environmental damage, hunting and fishing. We are causing extinctions at over a hundred times the natural pace.

Whenever you read about an endangered species of fish, or threats to an aquatic ecosystem, it is inevitable that the livelihood of fishermen will be a rallying cry for saving the fish. Inevitably, whenever fish are threatened by pollution, predators, or anything else, one of the biggest concerns mentioned is the income of fishermen.

This is not a trend you see when other species are threatened. We are especially biased against fish and we tend to view them as only having value related to their ability to be bought and sold. It’s not without a wince that I read imperatives declaring we must save fish from being killed by pollution, climate change, and oil spills so that they can be killed by humans in a more profitable way.

Fish feel pain just the same as mammals. Killing a fish is no different than killing a mammal. We cannot continue to treat animals as unworthy of our concern and treating fish as even less worthy than other animals. We cannot continue to think of fish only in terms of our ability to profit from them.

The real reason we should work to preserve Africa’s freshwater species is because they contribute to biodiversity. It is because they are unique animals, some of which exist nowhere else on the planet. It is because they are living beings that inhabit our planet, just the same as we do.

Photo: scip_pics

70 comments

Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

I do not think that Adam and Eva did eat animals, they had so much fruits and vegetables.

And thinking about science and the early way of life: people did collect fruits etc. before the first tool/weapon was made. Then they ate cadavers, when predators left their prey (disturbance, no more hunger), and seeing the claws and teeth, so the people made the first tools what were their first weapons, too.

Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

This is a very sad story. Other animals and plants have to go only because "we" humans do not want to share the world with other life forms, these life forms "we" would not eat (vegetarian food is not a bad idea, or eating with conscience as the so called primitive cultures did and still do, if they still exist. No meat/fish every day). "We" destroy everything around us and "we" forget, that everything is important to survive, too.

As little child i thought that rain is when God and the angels cry - because "we" humans have forgotten that we need this "intelligence", someone who could help... if "we" hadn't turned away for many centuries ago...

"Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Maria Teresa Suplico

On the other side of the issue, if overfishing and pollution are unethical, who will take on preservation of the species by propagating these fish and other animals threatened with extinction? Very important to exert efforts to encourage them to multiply also

Joy Jin
Joy Jin5 years ago

God gave us fish to eat so I don't think that it's unethical, but overfishing and polluting is.

Maria A.
Maria A.5 years ago

Well, Jesus performed the miracle of the fishes, so eating fish is not precisely unethical, but overfishing and wasting food and animal life is. We should support laws that ban overfishing anywhere in the planet.

Ashley C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Damn, I really need to quit eating fish. =/

Carol Cowbrough
Carol Cowbrough5 years ago

Yes.

Christina Lucas
Christina Lucas5 years ago

Diane L. is correct. No matter how you kill, it hurts, its painful and what right do we have to take a life?

No one needs to eat animals, not today. We have a plentiful supply of alternates.

What we also have is too many people. Long ago, large families were needed to farm, to work factories, to weave etc. Now we have machinery. Long ago life expectancy was pretty bleak, hence large families. Not so today. We are lucky for progress, science and education in those matters.

Back to the farms with machinery. Animals for natural purposes. Not to abuse, slaughter and eat. Read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Animals know when they are going to be killed just like humans. Think about it, please.

Anja N.
Justin R.5 years ago

All comes down to: too many people to feed.

Penelope D.
Penelope D.5 years ago

There should be no species endangered, as I have made numerous orders to save and heal all of creation, each moment of my life. There should be enough destinatikn chambers and underwater sheet bundles, throughout all waterways, everything should be filtered through the use of the Delarosan materials, and the entire world must be rewound, immediately, so that these things were always done. All of creation must be rewound, immediately.