About World Fish Migration Day

What is World Fish Migration Day?

World Fish Migration Day is a one-day global celebration to create awareness of open rivers and migratory fish. This international day of events is coordinated by the World Fish Migration Foundation . On World Fish Migration Day, organizations from around the world coordinate their own event around the common theme of: CONNECTING FISH, RIVERS AND PEOPLE. And this year we want to make it all about love.

Love is expressed in many forms. Even fish display some forms of love! In fact, we have more in common with fish than we think. Love helps us in our goal of connecting fish, rivers and people. So, let's celebrate the global love we have for our fish and rivers. By working together we create a greater driving force to raise awareness, share ideas and secure commitments. Love flows!

What is a Migratory Fish?

Migratory fishes are fishes that swim short or long distances from daily to annually, as a way to complete their life cycle, feed and / or make love! Some migratory fishes migrate up and down rivers, others between rivers and oceans, and others across the oceans. Some migratory fish species you may know? Salmon migrate up rivers as adults to spawn in the same river they were born. On the flipside, freshwater eels are born in the ocean but migrate epic distances to carry their lives in rivers. Bullsharks migrate up rivers and back through the oceans to breed and feed! And there are many more examples of migratory fishes! Check out our downloads page for some cool fish fact sheets! Learn about their migratory routes and about some species you may have never even heard of!


Why celebrate World Fish Migration Day?

Many migratory fish species are critically endangered or threatened. The main causes are man-made barriers, weirs and sluices, which disrupt the natural flow of rivers and prevent their usual migratory routes. Many fish need to migrate to reproduce, feed and complete their life cycles. Migratory fish are a crucial link in the food chain and play an important role in creating healthy and productive river systems. Furthermore, they provide an important food supply and livelihood for millions of people around the world. They are ecologically, culturally, economically, and recreationally important!

Because of this, we need to ensure the survival of these species for generations to come. But many times, fishes do not receive the proper attention they deserve. For this reason, it is important we raise awareness about the plight of migratory fishes.


Goals of World Fish Migration Day

Creating awareness is an essential first step to make real change. The main goal of World Fish Migration Day is to improve the public's understanding of the importance of migratory fish and how we can reduce our impact on them. The next step is to enable citizens on the world to take action on these topics. Ultimately, we aim to create sustainable commitments from NGOs, governments and industry on safeguarding free rivers and restoring swimways or migratory fish.


Fish Migration is essential for healthy rivers

Humans have used and modified rivers for millennia to improve our quality of life. Rivers provide many services: water supply, irrigation, navigation, hydropower, fishing and more. However, these activities are often carried out at a high environmental cost—river degradation. We see it as our shared responsibility to find solutions to restore free fish migration, recover healthy rivers and prevent future degradation and species extinction!
To accomplish this brighter future, a good place to start is by educating others and raising awareness about the current situation as well as discover and implement solutions to the challenge. In this aim, we have created the  ‘From Sea to Source’ guide which serves as a great resource for river restoration initiatives!

Download the  FREE guide  here to learn more about fish migration.


Want to know more about migratory fish in general and discovery where they live? Check out our ‘Swimways’ map that can also be downloaded and used for free!



Read More about fish migration


Care about migratory fish and their environment? 

Join World Fish Migration Day now and help raise awareness! Feel like letting us know what you think about fish migration? Share it with us on social media using #worldfishmigrationday and #happyfish. Do you want to organize an event?

Register your event



A team of fishheads!

There is a dedicated team or passionate people working to organize World Fish Migration Day. Interested in reading what they do and why they work on fish migration? Read their profiles below.

Are you interested in becoming part of this international team? Have a look at our full positions, internship and job opportunities 

Join the team

Herman Wanningen

Project manager

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Pao Fernández Garrido

Events coordinator

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Kerry Brink

Coordinator for Africa

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Joshua Royte

Partner & Steering committee chair

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Iwan Hoving

Coordinator for Europe

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Bas Deelman

Art Director

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Francisco Campos-Lopez

Conservation Storyteller and Filmmaker

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Adela Baratech Sánchez

WFMD events coordinator

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Ruth Kabera

Coordinator for Africa

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Tom Dragt


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Ruben van Treeck

Volunteer WFMD Europe

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Arjen Nieuwenhuis

Volunteer WFMD | European recruitment

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Francesca Saccà

Volunteer for Italy

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Wei Xu

Volunteer for China

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Chen Chen

Volunteer for China

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Yiyi Zhang

River dolphin network

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Lauren Zatkos

Art Volunteer

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Wouter-Jan Quaak

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