Rivers, Fish and the Tree of Life

Tree of Life Wikimedia Commons All life on Earth began in the sea some 3.5 billion years ago. Yet there is a twist to this story. New research shows that almost all fish species that inhabit the oceans today moved there from rivers and lakes. This sheds new light on the importance of freshwater ecosystems for life on Earth. And it suggests that by damming and polluting rivers, we may destroy the seed banks of future generations. Terrestrial environments occupy 30 percent of the Earth’s surface, but contain 75-85 percent of all species. Freshwater ecosystems only make up about 2 percent of

No More Catfish in the Madeira?

Fish are dying at an alarming rate because of the Santo Antônio Dam.
Fish are dying at an alarming rate because of the Santo Antônio Dam. Instituto Rio Madeira Vivo This blog in Brazil caught our eye recently: catfish are now disappearing at an alarming rate from the Madeira River, thanks to the reservoir of the Santo Antônio Dam. When the environmental license for the Santo Antônio Dam was approved against the findings of fish experts, Lula controversially claimed that the dams would not be stopped because of "some catfish." Now, the catfish are disappearing. Don't say we didn't warn you.  I'll let the blog spell it out (thanks fo

Civil Society Statement Regarding Xiaonanhai Dam on the Upper Yangtze River

Great Bend of the Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, China
Friday, December 16, 2011
Open letter by Professor Fan Xiao, a geologist and environmental scientist in China, endorsed by Chinese environmental groups, Friends of Nature and Green Earth Volunteers, concerning the construction of the Xiaonanhai Dam in the National Nature Reserve of Rare and Endemic Fish in the Upper Yangtze River. Statement Regarding the National Nature Reserve of Rare and Endemic Fish in the Upper Yangtze River On December 12, 2011, the State Council of the People's Republic of China, through Decree [2011] No. 156, issued a notice that the State Council supports the Ministry of Environmental Prot

India’s Community Fish Sanctuaries Protect Wild Fish and Rivers

Waitarna Fish Sanctuary.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Waitarna Fish Sanctuary. Parineeta Dandekar From December 2011 World Rivers ReviewAs elsewhere around the globe, native freshwater fish diversity in India’s rivers is declining rapidly. About a third of the approximately 650 fish species found in India are threatened. Crucial reasons for this decline are destruction of habitats through dams and barrages, pollution, and exploitive fishing practices. Dams in India have converted flowing rivers into reservoirs, which have a profoundly different hydrological character than rivers to which indigenous species have adapted to. Species like Indian

Official Review of the Xayaburi Dam Reveals Project Flaws

A long-brewing regional debate over whether or not to build the proposed Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River has hit boiling point. If there were any delusional fantasies remaining that mainstream dam building could be sustainable, the Mekong River Commission’s new independent technical review of the proposed Xayaburi Dam has surely dissolved them. The MRC Secretariat’s expert review of the Xayaburi Dam’s key project documents – released a few days ago – highlights the grave environmental and social harms associated with the project, while also identifying considerable knowledg

Report Urges Ten-Year Dam-Building Freeze on Mekong

The site of the Xayaburi Dam, the first of eleven planned Mekong mainstream dams.
Friday, December 10, 2010
From December 2010 World Rivers Review The Mekong region is at a crossroads. A ground-breaking new report urging a 10-year dam-building freeze on the Mekong River mainstream has raised the profile of the risks of a dam- boom on the highly productive and valuable river, while also putting a spotlight on the decision-makers who will determine its fate. The debate is noticeably shifting away from strict belief that dams are the best way to serve regional energy needs, and toward increased recognition of the value of a healthy river that supports millions with its natural abundance. The site of

Lula Contemplates his Navel

Lula Points to his Navel
Lula Points to his Navel Archive As Obama has said, "Lula's the man." So, all ears tuned in on Lula the other day in Londrina, Paraná when he spoke of his role in achieving the licensing of the Madeira River dams. What follows is a direct transcript of Lula's words of wisdom, with the help of a translator to more clearly elucidate his technical arguments: " So I think that today we no longer should no longer discuss these themes ideologically, and we should instead sit around the table and discuss how we can make them (the projects) better...I remember it as if it

Soluções para a Amazônia

Veja o Manifesto da Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia sobre a importância da conservação dos grandes bagres do rio Madeira.

Madeira Projects Continue to Raise a Stink

Fish Killed by Santo Antonio Dam Construction
Fish Killed by Santo Antonio Dam Construction José Carlos Sá Indications are clear that the consortia building the Madeira River dams will attempt to go about their dirty business any way they see fit. First, the Madeira Energética (MESA) consortium building São Antônio Dam was fined US$ 3.3 million for killing 11 tons of fish in December after beginning work on the cofferdam. Workers improvised masks to lessen the stench. The consortium, headed by Odebrecht, attributed the disaster to an abrupt temperature change, and said only six tons had been killed of mostly smaller fish, n

Our Backyard: The Klamath River Needs Your Help

Typically we keep our focus on rivers outside the U.S., but on Septemeber 18 we'll see an important action happening here at home on the West Coast. The Klamath Justice Coalition is organizing the first annual Day of Action Against PacifiCorp: The Most Destructive Power Company in the West.  More on International Rivers work on the Klamath River


Subscribe to RSS - Fisheries