2024 Living Planet Index Update for Migratory Freshwater Fishes

The 2024 Living Planet Index (LPI) update for Migratory Freshwater Fishes unveils a startling 81% decline in monitored populations of freshwater migratory fishes from 1970 to 2020. This distressing trend is attributed to habitat loss and degradation, with factors like river fragmentation due to dams and agricultural encroachment on wetlands accounting for half of the threats. Over-exploitation exacerbates the situation, alongside rising pollution and the escalating impacts of climate change, which have relentlessly plagued freshwater migratory fish species for three decades. Beyond ecological implications, these fish are lifelines for millions, sustaining food security and nutrition for vulnerable communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, while supporting the livelihoods of tens of millions involved in local fisheries, global trade, and the recreational fishing industry. Yet amidst this bleak scenario, there's hope. The report highlights actionable solutions, ready to be implemented by governments and communities today. It underscores the effectiveness of conservation efforts and improved management practices, emphasizing strategies such as species-focused fisheries management, habitat restoration, dam removals, establishment of conservation sanctuaries, and legal protections, laying out a pathway toward reversing this alarming decline.