A shocking picture of over one in three freshwater fish species struggling for survival has emerged.
In a first ever assessment of European fish research shows how 100 years of industrial development has wreaked havoc on river systems.
The study done by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and published in the Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes reveals that 200 of the 522 species are threatened with extinction – 12 are already extinct.
William Darwall, from IUCN, said: “Many of these species, not considered as ‘charismatic’ or with any apparent ‘value’ to people, rarely attract the funds needed for their conservation.
“They risk disappearing with only a dedicated few noticing the loss.”
He went on to say that many of the species could be saved just by simple water purification and flood control.
Examples of fish most in danger include the European eel (Anguilla anguilla), Gizani (Ladigesocypis ghigii) and Jarabugo (Anaecypis hispanica).