Freshwater fish are important for maintaining ecosystems and human communities worldwide. [Credit: James Hills from Pixabay | Free for Commercial Use] Just like birds, some freshwater fish make heroic journeys, traveling thousands of miles across oceans, rivers and wetlands to complete their life cycle. The Amazonian dorado catfish takes the longest trip of them all: it swims over 7,200 miles in South America, from the Andes Mountains to the Amazon river estuaries near the Atlantic Ocean. The survival of many freshwater fish depends on these journeys. But unlike avian odysseys , whose flyway maps are now available online thanks to collaborations between observers and researchers, no single map currently depicts the collective journeys of the world’s fish. A group of scientists is now trying to fill that gap by creating the first global swimway map . Their idea is to provide a detailed portrait of the routes that millions of fish journey in their lifetime. This big picture could help conservationists protect fish from endangerment due to extreme changes in their ecosystems. Freshwater species are not only important for biodiversity reasons, but also for the livelihood of an estimate of 20 million people who depend on inland fisheries. Families […]

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