The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or the IUCN, officially announced the extinction of the endangered smooth handfish.
- Related: Polar Bears and Penguins Could be Extinct by 2100 if Ocean Temperatures Continue to Rise at the Current Rate
The extinction of the fish marks a depressing milestone: the first modern-day marine fish to be declared extinct. Unfortunately, the smooth handfish will likely not be the only marine fish to become extinct. According to NOAA Fisheries, there are 165 endangered species of marine fish. The extinction of the smooth handfish may represent an unfortunate trend for endangered fish species.
There are many factors that contribute to fish extinction: overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change, just to name a few. With all of the said factors rapidly accelerating, the reversal of these trends toward extinction may be irreversible.