Fun Fish Facts
Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold-blooded, covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. Fish are abundant in the sea and in fresh water, with species being known from mountain streams (e.g., char and gudgeon) as well as in the deepest depths of the ocean (e.g., gulpers and anglerfish). They are of tremendous importance as food for people around the world, either collected from the wild or farmed in much the same way as cattle or chickens. Fish are also exploited for recreation, through angling and fishkeeping, and are commonly exhibited in public aquaria. Fish have an important role in many cultures through the ages, ranging as widely as deities and religious symbols to subjects of books and popular movies. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
As of 2006, the World Conservation Union or International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List describes 1,173 species of fish as being threatened with extinction. Included on this list are species such as Atlantic cod,[Devil's Hole pupfish, coelacanths, and great white sharks. Because fish live underwater they are much more difficult to study than terrestrial animals and plants, and information about fish populations is often lacking. However, freshwater fish seem particularly threatened because they often live in relatively small areas.
In the case of edible fishes such as cod and tuna a major threat is overfishing. Where overfishing persists, it eventually causes the collapse of the fish population (known as a "stock") because the population cannot breed fast enough to replace the individuals removed by fishing. The main tension between fisheries science and the fishing industry is the need to balance conservation with preserving the livelihoods of fishermen. On the other hand, scientists and conservations push for increasingly stringent protection for fish stocks, warning that many stocks could be wiped out within fifty years