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Salmon believed to be extinct spotted near Mount Fuji lake

A species of salmon thought to be extinct for the past 70 years has been rediscovered in Japan, reports National Geographic.

The kunimasu salmon lives primarily in lakes, a a feature which distinguishes it from the related sockeye salmon which also lives in oceans.

The kunimasu salmon was thought to have become extinct when pH levels dramatically changed in Lake Tazawako of northern Japan. However, the recent discovery had led scientists to believe that about 10 thousand kunimasu salmon may still be alive.

‘‘The samples from Lake Saiko are smaller by about 10 centimeters. It could suggest the fish adjusted itself to the new environment,’’ said Tetusji Nakabo, an ichthyology professor at Kyoto University, according to JapanToday.

Although the kunimasu salmon will be taken off of the extinction list and placed under close watch by the Japanese government, wild salmon populations around the world are still in danger of extinction.

According to a 2007 report in Science, wild salmon near British Columbia, Canada, may become entirely extinct within 10 years due to growing aquaculture and the expansion of fish farms, reported BBC. Aquaculture introduces parasites such as sea lice to regions where young wild salmon are most vulnerable, raising questions about the economic benefits of fish farms and their environmental deficits.
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