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Giant fish of Amazon faces extinction

Sergio Ricardo de Oliveira

Giant fish of Amazon faces extinction

The largest fish in South America, called arapaima, live in stagnant flood plains of Amazonian rivers. But the 2-meter-long animals are highly vulnerable to spearfishing and gillnets, because they come up to fill their primitive lungs with air every 5 minutes or so. A new study of fishing villages in Brazil, published online in Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, finds that the fish have vanished from rivers around 19% of the villages. It's nearly extirpated from another 57% of villages, LiveScience reports. The good news is that the fish are 100 times more abundant in communities that have put fishing rules, such as catch limits.

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