Species of fish we need to protect
Our fish need our protection. Fact. Disturbingly, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have just advised that, as of July 2017, there are 455 critically endangered species of fish on their list. Which means that 3% of all presently evaluated fish species in our oceans, rivers, lakes and seas are listed as critically endangered, and 81 of the 455 are already considered to be extinct. These are startling statistics and are figures that are showing no sign of decline.
Amongst many others, varieties of our beloved sharks, rays, skates and swordfish, sturgeon, salmon, trout and freshwater whitefish, carp and bream and giant catfish are all on the critically endangered list and are “on their way out!”. Many of these species of fish are species that you, as avid enjoyers of Kayak Fishing, will encounter during an average day’s sea or river fishing.
So, what should you do if one of these endangered fish ends up on your hook?
Simple, release it back into the water! Catch and release. Catch and release. Catch and release. We can’t say it enough. However, before you do release that wonderful specimen back into it’s natural habitat, we encourage you to take a few photos and make a few notes. For example, the location of where you caught the fish. How many fish and what size they were. If they were adult or juvenile. If they were swimming or feeding. This is all extremely valuable information and we urge you to share it, along with any photos that you might have, with the relevant local and online wildlife officials.
Railblaza Camerabooms are a great accessory for those of us who practice catch and release fishing and want to preserve not only the the moment, but help record, preserve and improve the environment and the lives of fish that live there. The Camerabooms are rods that securely hold your camera, phone, GoPro or any other recording device at an adjustable distance from you. They slot neatly into the Railblaza Starports that are fastened to your kayak allowing you to safely record your adventures without worrying about dropping your precious device into the water or not having enough hands to capture the moment successfully! So, catch, kiss and release that fish with confidence in the knowledge that every precious moment is being recorded with the aid of your trusty Railblaza Camerboom!
LINK > Cameraboom > Accessories > Sale Page
Below we have listed 5 of the most endangered species of fish on the planet in the hope that we are able to help you to clearly identify and therefore observe any one of them in their natural world, and then report back what you have been lucky enough to see, so that we can all play our part in the protection and preservation of these wonderful creatures, and plus, you definitely wanna be able to identify a Goliath Grouper if you just so happen to come across one, because it is awesome and if one of these ends up on your hook, then you are gonna need to prepare yourself to be pretty darn awesome too!
Found in the North Atlantic the Atlantic halibut is a right-eyed flounder, meaning It is flattened sideways and is the largest of the flat fish species. It’s upper surface is uniformly dark chocolate and it’s underside is pale. It can reach up to 9 feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds and live to over 50 years. Often caught as bycatch in bottom trawl fisheries.
Historically, the Maltese ray (or skate) populated the Mediterranean Sea in the waters of Italy, Algeria, Malta and Tunisia, but can now only be found in the Straits of Sicily. Though little is known about this particular species, it is likely that it displays similar characteristics to other rays. Rarely targeted by commercial fisheries, it is unwanted bycatch.
The bluefin tuna is perhaps the most iconic of endangered fish and is found throughout most of the Northern Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the fasted fish in the sea and can grow to up to 10 feet long and weigh more than 1,400 pounds. It is the sixth most threatened species in the world, sea or land and is by all measures critically endangered
The European eel starts it’s life in the North Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas, but then migrates to fresh waters where it can grow to a length of 4.5 meters and live for over 80 years. Any European eel caught at sea is a juvenile and has not yet had a chance to spawn. This has led to catastrophic over fishing and a devastating effect on regeneration.
All species of grouper are endangered to some extent, but the Goliath Grouper is particularly threatened. Found in the subtropical seas of the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic it grows up to 8 feet in length during it’s40 yearlife span and can weigh as much as 360kg. A harvest ban was placed on the species due to rapid decline in 1990, but with a slow growth and reproduction rate population recovery will take some time.
These five species are just a few of the hundreds which are in danger. We strongly recommend that you research the species in your area and help to improve local conservation efforts by being informed and proactive.
There are lots of local forums and facebook pages about fishing where you can find out more about which species are endangered. You can also ask local kayak fishing clubs and obviously directly from your countries government department.
Galaxy Kayaks is proud to be a part of 1% For The Planet (insert this link: https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/). 1% For The Planet is an international organisation whose members contribute at least 1% of their annual sales to environmental causes. You can join the organisation as both a business or individual member and strongly encourage everyone to visit their website and see the great work they do.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”
Native American Proverb