With more and more animals disappearing this list could soon be a distant memory of species that are now extinct. But not yet. At the moment there are ten of the worlds rarest fish and if you are lucky enough to see any of these in the wild you should consider it a rare treat…
Bullhead (Cottus gobio) – UK
These little fish are found in a small stretch of water in the UK and mostly in clean, stony waters. This is one of the few species of fish that build nests made of stones to lay their eggs in.
Coelacanth (Oelacanthiformes) – East Coast of Africa
While their numbers were once classed as low they were thought to be extinct before a group of fisherman along the East Coast of Africa captured a couple of them in the 1930s. Now their numbers are maintained but are still thought to be one of the rarest species in the world.
American paddlefish (Polyodon spathula), Mississippi River basin, USA
This odd-looking fish is so low in numbers that anyone caught fishing them and not releasing them back into the water could face fines up to $100,000! But the good news is there are reports that their numbers are getting higher year on year.
Barreleye (Opisthoproctidae) – Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans
If having a see-through head wasn’t amazing enough, this species of fish has been classed as one of the rarest in the world, but due to the deep water they live in numbers of their species can’t be confirmed for sure.
Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus) – Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic sturgeon are only found in the faster-flowing waters in the Northern Hemisphere and in some of the large rivers and lakes in the same area. They are of course over-fished for their eggs and flesh.
Pondicherry shark (Carcharhinus hemiodon) – Northern Australia
This species was thought to be long extinct until a small pod of them was found off the waters of Northern Australia. Sadly due to its low numbers, it will probably be extinct within just a few years.
Red Handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) – Tasmania, Australia
Once thought to be extinct a small group of 20 to 40 fish was found by a diver off the Australian island state’s southeast coast. It is thought there might be less than 100 of these species of fish around the world which makes them very rare indeed.
Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) – Atlantic Ocean
It goes without saying that this species is overfished, but what you might not know is it has been classed as the sixth most threatened species in the world! Not just of fish, but all animals! But there is hope for them as long as they are left alone to recuperate their numbers.
Twaite shad (Alosa fallax) – Wiltshire, UK
For the last 5 years, it has been illegal to kill, injure or take a shad from the water which shows just how rare this species is. They are often mistaken for an Allis shad, but they have a more darkened back.
Devils Hole pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) – Death Valley National Park, USA
It might not be the prettiest fish on this list, but this is by far the rarest. You might not think of fish being in one of the hottest places on earth, but that is mostly the problem for this little fish as their pools of water dry up more and more every year.