Freshwater Fish Species In Fertile Regions Threatened By Dam Projects

By on January 11, 2016

A group of international researchers assessing the impacts of hydroelectric dams on freshwater fish species say that dam-building efforts in some of the world’s most fertile regions need to stop in order to protect biodiversity, according to The Guardian. The researchers note that similar structures around the world have already had outsized, and negative, impacts.

To this, those building new dams argue that advanced fish passage technology will help to minimize the effects. But the scientists, hailing from America, Brazil and Europe, just aren’t buying it, adding that big dam projects of the past have always over-promised in the same areas while usually under-delivering.

The important regions under consideration for new dams include the Amazon, Congo and Mekong River basins. If large-scale hydroelectric dam projects continue in the regions, researchers say that a full third of the world’s freshwater fish are at risk from things like inhibited migration, delays in seasonal food pulses and decreased access to floodplain habitats that provide nursery and feeding areas.

Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric dam spillway. (Credit: Alex Polezhaev)

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