Top 10 Most Endangered Fish Species


Orange Roughy

Orange Roughy: It's 149-year lifespan puts it at risk.
Orange Roughy: It's 149-year lifespan puts it at risk.
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Also known as the "slimehead," the orange roughy has a wide-ranging habitat that includes the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, Namibia and the northeast Atlantic Ocean. Its life expectancy is up to 149 years, and it reaches sexual maturation age between 20 and 32 years, making it the epitome of a species inherently vulnerable to overfishing. The pressure of overfishing is amplified by fishermen's tendency to trawl for orange roughy when the fish congregate to feed and breed. The resulting catches wipe out generations. Though the IUCN hasn't reviewed this species to determine if it is endangered, a number of other organizations have recognized the significant decline in its numbers after only 25 years of commercial harvesting.


Bycatch are sea creatures caught unintentionally. This can either be ocean dwellers other than the desired species or juveniles of the desired species.