(NEXSTAR) — Almost one-third of freshwater fish are threatened with extinction, according to a new report published Tuesday by 16 global conservation organizations. “World’s Forgotten Fishes” details the detrimental effects that the loss of freshwater fish species could have on the planet, as fish are essential to “the health of the world’s rivers, lakes and wetlands,” in addition to supporting societies and economies around the globe.

There are more than 18,075 species of freshwater fish, which account for half the world’s fish species and a quarter of all vertebrate species.

But thousands of those species are now headed toward extinction due to a series of threats facing freshwater ecosystems, including habitat destruction, hydropower damns and pollution, according to the report.

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Already, 80 species of freshwater fish have been declared extinct by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, including 16 in 2020 alone.

Since 1970, populations of migratory freshwater fish have fallen 76%, while mega-fish have decreased by 94%.

“Nowhere is the world’s nature crisis more acute than in our rivers, lakes and wetlands, and the clearest indicator of the damage we are doing is the rapid decline in freshwater fish populations,” said Stuart Orr, the World Wildlife Fund global Freshwater Lead, in a statement. “They are the aquatic version of the canary in the coalmine, and we must heed the warning.”