In China, dams on the Yangtze River threaten fish with extinction

“Because of the dams”five species of fish living in the main course of the Yangtze River, including the iconic Chinese sturgeon, have disappeared or are on the verge of extinction, deplores Caixin. Based on a study published on May 10 in the journal Science Advances, the Chinese economic magazine does not hesitate, like the initial study, to point the finger at the development of major hydraulic projects in recent decades. Which would have caused disastrous consequences on the ecosystem, disrupting the life cycle of fish, creating “infertile populations” unable to reproduce.

This report, co-signed by two researchers, Huang Zhenli and Li Haiying, from the China Water Resources and Hydropower Research Institute, warns of the “under estimation” in general of the impact of dams on the population of migratory fish.

In the specific case of the Yangtze River, the authors, using an analytical tool aimed at quantitatively evaluating and comparing the effects of the Yangtze’s numerous dams on five species of fish, estimate that due to“errors of scientific assessment”the efforts undertaken in recent years with “rescue plans” such as the release of fish, the ban on fishing and the creation of natural fish reserves, have had little effect.


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