NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — River conservationists say the American shad is on the verge of collapsing in the James River. The fish have been a dietary staple of those living on the East Coast for hundreds of years.

The Virginian-Pilot cites a report by The James River Association showing that shad population levels are at the lowest ever recorded in the organization’s history.

The fish’s numbers have been dropping for decades because of manmade infrastructure and fishing, along with the increase of invasive species.

The association is demanding that state officials form an emergency plan to revive the species.