How Many Fish Are Extinct?

There is a wide array of evidence showing that our world is in the middle of mass extinction. Animals all over the world are being hit on multiple fronts such as habitat loss, the change of temperature in the ocean, and the climate change that drives population down to very alarming rates.

How many fish are extinct? It is mentioned by the International Union for Conservation of Nature that there are 65 extinct species, 87 possible extinct fish species, and 6 extinct fish species found in the wild.

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In this short read, you will find out some of the aquatic fishes that are extinct and some that are almost in the breach of extinction.

Fish Extinction

As of September 2016, there are many species of fish that has been extinct for a while. And that is not stopping as 87 possible fish species are about to go extinct if we don’t do something.

Fish extinction is not a small matter to declare, and it keeps rising at an alarming rate. The ocean might be deep and vast, but experts believe that in the next 50 years, they will be gone completely.

Here are some fish that are gone for good, and many more species will vanish if we do not take care of our marine life ecosystem:

The Blackfin Cisco

The Blackfin Cisco is a salmonid fish, closely related to a trout and a salmon. They are once abundant in the Great Lakes but just recently succumbed to overfishing and predation.

They were the prey of three invasive species, the Alewife, the Rainbow Smelt, and the genus of Sea Lamprey. They didn’t just disappear one night. The last one spotted was in Lake Huron back in the 1960s; Lake Michigan sighting in 1969; and the last known sighting in Thunder Bay Ontario back in 2006.

The Blue Walleye

Blue Walleye are most commonly called the Blue Pike. They were fished out of the Great Lakes by the bucketload from the 19th century to the mid 20th century. They were last sighted back in the 1980s, and overfishing was not the only reason they were gone.

They were also a victim of invasive species like the Rainbow Smelt, and the industrial pollution from the nearby factories.

The Galapagos Damsel

The Galapagos Damsel was one of the most iconic fish in our history as Charles Darwin laid much of the groundwork for the theory of evolution in them. This fish didn’t fall victim to human intervention and instead succumbed to the rise of local water temperatures.

The event resulted from the El Niño currents back in early 1980 that reduced all plankton populations. They were known to eat plankton, and without it, they had no other source of food.


Overall, there is still a high possibility that this number is about to grow bigger as we years passed by. Without action, we can expect that the extinction of our beloved fishes will come sooner than we expect it to be.

In addition to the species listed here, there are many other critically endangered species in the ocean today. And with the extinction and endangerment impacted by dying coral reefs, the change of temperature of the ocean, and the ever-growing pollution on the planet.