Connecting fish, rivers and people

About WFMD

World Fish Migration Day 2014 (WFMD) is a one day global initiative, with local events worldwide, to create awareness on the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. WFMD is held to improve the publics’ understanding of the importance of open rivers and migratory fish and their needs.

What is the problem?
Free migration for fish is crucial to achieve healthy fish stocks. While most fish are migratory to some degree, some species like salmon, sturgeon, trout, dourada, shad, lamprey, giant catfish and eel migrate thousands of kilometers to complete their life cycles. If they can’t migrate, the population will die out. This has happened with many species in different places around the world already.
Secondly, in many regions of the world, like in the Mekong river basin, millions of people rely on migratory fish as a food source. A collapsing fish stock has a devastating effect on the life of local people. We have built so many barriers in the rivers and on the coast that it is very hard for migratory fish to reproduce. In the current situation, migratory fish are threatened and fish stocks are declining rapidly around the world. They are particularly threatened by barriers such as weirs, dams and sluices, built for water management, hydropower and land drainage.


The WFMD on the 24th of May 2014
Events will be organised locally, under the umbrella of WFMD, to create awareness about open rivers and free fish migration routes. Our aim is to have more than 250 events around the world on WFMD; starting in New Zealand, following the sun and ending as the sun sets on Hawaii. The WFMD will bring global attention for the need for open rivers and free routes for fish migration. It will deliver international press coverage and new fish migration awareness initiatives will be developed.

We encourage organisers to be creative with their events, but here are a few examples of what could be done:

  • Field trips, e.g. to rivers, fish passages or sites where dams have been removed
  • Citizen science projects
  • Celebrating the opening of a new fishway
  • River cruises
  • Seminar for professionals on fish passage issues
  • Workshops/talks for members of the public

What will be done with the results?

The global event will be summarized in a visual presentation with the key numbers of the event (number of locations, number of participants, photo’s, films etc). This will be presented to politicians and high-level officers of the European Parliament and possibly to others. 
The partners of the WFMD
  • WWF, the Netherlands (NL)
  • The Nature Conservancy (USA)
  • IUCN SSC / WI Freshwater Fish Specialist Group (based in the UK)
  • Wanningen Water Consult (NL)
  • LINKit consult (NL)

The project is supported by many organizations, which can be found here.