Extinct Fish

Due to their underwater habitat, it is often quite impossible to track down the population trends of a fish species. So, only a few fishes have been confirmed as ‘Extinct’ by the IUCN, with the rest being considered possibly extinct. The possibly extinct species are officially recorded as ‘Critically Endangered’ but with little hope of any surviving specimen, based on how many years have passed since their last sighting.

For example, the shortnose cisco has not been seen since 1985, while the last sighting of the Diyarbakir loach was back in 1970. The Java stingaree has not been seen since it was discovered over 150 years ago.

List of Recently Extinct Fish Species

  • Blackfin Cisco
  • Longjaw Cisco
  • Deepwater Cisco
  • Blue Walleye
  • Tecopa Pupfish
  • Gravenche
  • Cachorrito De La Trinidad
  • Ukrainian Migratory Lamprey
  • Silver Trout
  • Splendid Killifish
  • Parras Pupfish
  • Santa Cruz Pupfish
  • Catarina Pupfish
  • Graceful Priapella
  • Parras Characodon
  • San Marcos Gambusia
  • Villa Lopez Pupfish
  • Ash Meadows Killifish
  • Whiteline Topminnow
  • Amistad Gambusia
  • Beysehir Bleak
  • Plateau Chub
  • Iznik Shemaya
  • Mexican Dace
  • Las Vegas Dace
  • Endorheic Chub
  • Snake River Sucker
  • Harelip Sucker
  • Thicktail Chub
  • Hula Bream
  • Phantom Shiner
  • Durango Shiner
  • Houting
  • Clear Lake Splittail
  • Handlirsch’s Minnow
  • Danube Delta Gudgeon
  • Stumptooth Minnow 
  • Long Jaw Tristramella
  • Maryland Darter
  • Techirghiol Stickleback
  • New Zealand Grayling
  • Siamese Flat-barbelled Catfish
  • Scioto Madtom
  • Utah Lake Sculpin

Possibly Extinct Fish Species

  • Java Stingaree
  • Adriatic Sturgeon
  • Syr Darya Sturgeon 
  • Chinese Paddlefish 
  • Dabry’s Sturgeon
  • Shortnose Cisco
  • Long-spine Bream 
  • Dianchi Carp
  • Siamese Bala-shak 
  • Haditha Cavefish 
  • Diyarbakir Spined Loach 
  • Damascus Bream
  • Akstafa Spring Roach
  • Barada Spring Minnow
  • Diyarbakir Loach 
  • Deolali Minnow
  • Deccan Barb
  • Nilgiri Mystus 
  • Lake Victoria Deepwater Catfish
  • Galapagos Damsel

Prehistoric Fish That Are Extinct

  • Megalodon
  • Xiphactinus
  • Dunkleosteus
  • Leedsichthys
  • Stethacanthus
  • Helicoprion
  • Ichthyosaurs
  • Pachycormidae
  • Megapiranha
  • Leptolepis
  • Hybodus

Why Are Fish Going Extinct

Like any other habitat, the primary threat to aquatic animals is mainly overfishing and other human activities that lead to habitat destruction and pollution. Global warming and climate change are vital factors as well.

Even today, many fishes, including haddock, halibut, sea bass, Atlantic cod, and salmon, are being pushed to the brink of extinction due to overfishing. The truth remains that threatened fishes do not get the same attention as mammals and reptiles for their conservation.

Sometimes, a certain species might still exist in a sea or ocean depths, appearing years after being considered extinct. For example, the Pondicherry shark was spotted alive in Sri Lanka, in the Menik and Kumbukkam rivers, in 2016, over 100 years after its previous positive sighting in 1900.

What Would Happen if All Fish Went Extinct

Apart from one major food source for humans being wiped out, all terrestrial and aquatic animals that feed solely on fish will also perish. Additionally, small and large fishing towns (where fishing is the foundation of the economy) will also cease to exist.

Fishes and marine creatures, in general, play a vital role in preventing water pollution, so if there are no fish in the waters, the seas and oceans will never be the same, and the world itself will never be the same.