Target: Zhou Shengxian, Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection
Goal: Stop the pollution of the Yangtze River from killing the ancient Chinese sturgeon
Excessive development of the Yangtze River in China is putting the Chinese sturgeon, a species of fish which is thought to have been in existence for over 140 million years, under extreme threat. According to the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, there was no natural reproduction of the already critically endangered fish in 2013. Researchers couldn’t find any eggs or young sturgeon swimming in the Yangtze River during their natural reproduction stage. Now, only around 100 remain in the wild.
The pollution of the Yangtze River associated with the building of dozens of dams since the 1980’s has already put other animal species at risk, including the finless porpoise and the Chinese alligator. This reckless and unchecked development and disruption of habitat could lead to the eradication of one of the world’s oldest living species.
China considers the Chinese sturgeon to be a national treasure, yet the government is allowing them to die out due to a lack of regulation preventing pollution or restrictions on industrial development in and around the natural habitats of this threatened species. The Chinese Minister of Environmental Protection must act swiftly to prevent China’s national treasure from disappearing forever. Signing this petition will remind him of his duty to protect the Chinese sturgeon and let him know that his disregard for the many animal species that depend on the Yangtze River will not be tolerated.
Dear Minister Zhou Shengxian,
One of your national treasures, the wild Chinese sturgeon, is under imminent threat of extinction. Due to the development of dams across the Yangtze river, over-fishing, runoff, and general pollution, many animal species that once thrived in and around the river have seen their populations plummet over the past 30 years.
Today, the Chinese sturgeon – one of the oldest living species of animal on Earth – has been reduced to a population of only about 100. Last year, there was no evidence found of their natural reproduction anywhere along their usual habitat. If action is not taken immediately, they will go extinct and you will lose one of your most treasured Chinese icons.
Your failure to protect the Yangtze River from severe degradation has already had a severe impact on the environment as well as the local human populations that depend on the water and the animal species that depend on it for their livelihoods. You have a duty to your people and your native animal species to protect them from the effects of industrialization and the pollution that has already killed so many. I urge you to give the Chinese sturgeon the consideration they deserve and put a stop to excessive development and pollution in and around the Yangtze River.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: High Contrast via Wikimedia Commons