The construction of a bridge in China's Hubei province has been cancelled over the death of around 6,000 critically endangered fish. Chinese sturgeons which are among the world's largest freshwater fish can weigh more than 1,110 pounds and can grow upto 16 feet long. They have large pectoral fins, a rounded snout and ridges at the length of their spine and flanks. Some of the reasons for their rarity are overfishing, construction of bridge and dams along the Yangtze river.
According to an investigation team by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the construction project had encroached to a protected nature reserve, a Chinese Daily reported. Their deaths are a result of "shocks, noises and changes in water sources" due to the construction of the bridge. The fish were bred at an aquafarm in Jingzhou. Endangered Species Condom Packages by Center for Biological Diversity Are Creatively Spreading Message on Saving Wildlife (See Pictures)
In the 1970s, China launched a breeding programme to save the species and Hengshang aquafarm near Jingzhou was a vital part of that programme. The fish are quite sensitive to noise and would often leap out of the water due to the disruption caused by the bridge's construction. 60 Percent of Earth's Wildlife Has Been Lost, We Are the 'Last Generation' That Can Save Nature, Says WWF
Construction and other development projects on the river also reduced the population of the native fish Yangtze porpoise. Baji dolphin known as the 'Yangtze mermaid' are now extinct for the same reason. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a total of 1,085 animals and plants native to China are listed under the global red list of "threatened" species.
The Chinese sturgeon species date back to more than 140 million years. They can live upto 60 years, but spawn only a few times during their life. Reportedly, between 2000 to 2015, there was a decline in 738 of the protected species in China; only 102 improvements were noted to have improved over the period.