Chinese paddlefish has been declared extinct

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The Chinese paddlefish has been declared extinct due to overfishing and dams.

The species was thought to be the world's largest freshwater fish with an average length of 10 feet. Some reports recorded them reaching 23 feet and weighing half a ton.

The Chinese paddlefish had a long, silver-gray body and their name derived from their protruding snout that resembled a paddle.

The fish were prominent in many parts of the Yangtze, Asia's largest river flowing 3914 miles from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea.

They used their special sword-like snout to sense electrical activity to find prey, such as crustaceans and fish, however, they haven't been spotted since 2003.

In the journal Science of The Total Environment, a team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences in Wuhan declared the paddlefish as extinct.

They believe overfishing in the 1970s, which harvested 25 tons of paddlefish per year on average, was the root cause of the gradual decline in paddlefish.

However, the main contributor which led to extinction was the loss of habitat through the construction of the Gezhouba Dam, built on the main stem of the Yangtze.

The dam was constructed without a fish ladder or bypass, cutting off the paddlefish from their only spawning grounds upstream.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Chinese Paddlefish details
2. Chinese Paddlefish habitat
3. Extinction causes
4. How we know they're extinct

VOICEOVER (in English):

"The Chinese paddlefish was thought to be the world's largest freshwater fish with an average length of 10 feet. Some reports recorded them reaching 23 feet and weighing half a ton."

"The Chinese paddlefish had a long, silver-gray body and their name derived from their protruding snout that resembled a paddle."

"The fish were prominent in many parts of the Yangtze, Asia's largest river flowing 3914 miles from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea."

"They used their special sword-like snout to sense electrical activity to find prey, such as crustaceans and fish, however, they haven't been spotted since 2003."

"In the journal Science of The Total Environment, a team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences in Wuhan declared the paddlefish as extinct."

"They believe overfishing in the 1970s, which harvested 25 tons of paddlefish per year on average, was the root cause of the gradual decline in paddlefish."

"However, the main contributor which led to extinction was the loss of habitat through the construction of the Gezhouba Dam, built on the main stem of the Yangtze."

"The dam was constructed without a fish ladder or bypass, cutting off the paddlefish from their only spawning grounds upstream."

SOURCES: National Geographic, Phys.org, Science Direct
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/01/chinese-paddlefish-one-of-largest-fish-extinct/
https://phys.org/news/2020-01-chinese-paddlefish-declared-extinct.html
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969719362382