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One of world’s largest freshwater fish species declared extinct by researchers

Wednesday, January 8th 2020, 3:30 pm - The fish is believed to have lived in the Yangtze River for 150 million years.

One of the world's largest freshwater fish has been recently declared extinct, according to a research paper released by Chinese experts at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute.

The psephurus gladius, a Chinese paddlefish which had inhabited the Yangtze River for 150 million years, is believed to have gone functionally extinct between 2005 and 2010, according to a paper published on the online edition of the international journal, Science of the Total Environment, on Dec. 23.

The functional extinction refers to a species whose living environment has been disturbed and destroyed by human activities, resulting in a dwindling population which is ultimately unable to reproduce in the end.

The extinction of the fish has aroused public attention as many expressed sadness over its suspected extinction.

China on Wednesday began a 10-year fishing ban on key areas of the Yangtze River to protect biodiversity in the country's longest river, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Starting from this year, the ban will be observed in 332 conservation areas in the Yangtze River basin, which will also be expanded to all natural waterways of the river and its major tributaries from no later than Jan. 1, 2021.

The fishing moratorium is regarded as a key move in fighting depleting biological resources and degrading biodiversity in the Yangtze River, which has long been suffering from human activities such as overfishing, pollution and damming.

Thumbnail image courtesy: Wikipedia.

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