The Endangered Fish Species Of Southern Africa

There are about 33 species of endangered fish in South African inland waters at the time of writing this article. This is alarming and I'm sure you have heard that conservationists are doing their best to help these fish out; which I am very happy about. There are many threats to freshwater fish such as pollution, eutrophication, bank erosion, sand exploitation, channelisation, invasion by alien organisms (Water Hyacinth). There are many other factors that contribute to these South African fish species appearing on the endangered list such as alien fish species taking over the natural habitat or destroying their natural habitat and the introduction of fish species into areas where they should not be... The latter is a big concern as many fish introduced to improve angling in natural rivers and lakes actually out compete the smaller, naturally occurring fish species and also some species prey on the endemic fish.

There are also numerous conservation methods such as fish ladders, breeding ponds, fish sanctuaries, researching impact invasive fish have on our indigenous species. Here is a list of Southern Africa's threatened freshwater fish species and their status...

  1. Berg River Redfin (Critically Endangered)
  2. Maloti Minnow (Critically Endangered)
  3. Twee River Redfin (Critically Endangered)
  4. Border Barb (Critically Endangered)
  5. Clanwilliam Sandfish (Critically Endangered)
  6. Spotted Rock Catfish (Critically Endangered)
  7. Cave Catfish (Critically Endangered)
  8. Incomati Suckermouth (Critically Endangered)
  9. Caprivi Killfish (Critically Endangered)
  10. Otjikoto Tilapia (Critically Endangered)
  11. Breede River Redfin (Endangered)
  12. Fiery Redfin (Endangered)
  13. Slender Redfin (Endangered)
  14. Clanwilliam Redfin (Endangered)
  15. Clanwilliam Sawfin (Endangered)
  16. Eastern Cape Rocky (Endangered)
  17. Southern Barred Minnow (Vulnerable)
  18. Smallscale Redfin (Vulnerable)
  19. Marico Barb (Vulnerable)
  20. Shortfin Barb (Vulnerable)
  21. Berg-Breede River Whitefish (Vulnerable)
  22. Clanwilliam Yellowfish (Vulnerable)
  23. Largemouth Yellowfish (Vulnerable)
  24. Clanwilliam Rock catfish (Vulnerable)
  25. Orangefringed Largemouth (Vulnerable)
  26. Eastern Cape Redfin (Near Threatened)
  27. Treur River Barb (Near Threatened)
  28. Namaqua Barb (Near Threatened)
  29. Lowveld Suckermouth (Near Threatened)
  30. Cape Galaxias (Near Threatened)
  31. Lowveld Largemouth (Near Threatened)
  32. Cape Kurper (Near Threatened)
  33. Rock Catfish (Least Concern)
Please do your part to help protect these beautiful Southern African freshwater fish species...