Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Fish Ecosystem on Yangtze Collapsing

Posted by feww on August 17, 2013

Yangtze River has lost 99.7% of its fish

Excessive human activity along the Yangtze River including the building of hydroelectric dams and overfishing has pushed the aquatic ecosystem to the verge of imminent collapse: Report

“The number of fish in four major species has shrunk from more than 30 billion in the 1950s to less than 100 million, and the number of breeds has been reduced from 143 to 17, according to the report released by the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and the World Wide Fund for Nature,” said the report.

Landscape changes along  banks of the Chishui River
Original caption: Landscape changes since 2005 along the banks of the Chishui River, a tributary of the Yangtze River, suggest the grave effects of human activity on the ecosystem of China’s longest river. [PHOTO BY WANG LEI / FOR CHINA DAILY]

In addition to the dramatic decline  in the number of fish, several other species including the finless porpoise have already become extinct, said Zhao Yimin, head of the Yangtze River Fishery Resources Committee.

“The source species are reducing, leading to unsustainable development of aquaculture and an increasingly fragile ecosystem.” Zhao said.

Some 25 hydropower plants are being built 100 km apart along the 2,308 km on the Jinsha River, a tributary of the Yangtze,  with a total capacity four times the Three Gorges Dam, according to China’s energy development plan,

“It will cut the river into sections, and completely change the aquatic environment, bringing a devastating impact to species and water quality,” Zhao said.

The Yangtze River basin covers 19 provinces and cities, accounting for 18.8 percent of the land area in China, said the report.

Full report posted HERE.

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