Connecting fish, rivers and people. JOIN US!

March 23, 2018

By Pao Fernández Garrido, Arjan Berkhuysen and Herman Wanningen



Celebration of WFMD2016 at the European Headquarters, The Netherlands

IMAGE: Waddenvereniging

World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) is a one-day worldwide celebration, made possible thanks to our many partners including WWF-Netherlands and TNC. The main goal of WFMD is to raise awareness among citizens about the significance of healthy open rivers and migratory fish. We want people to understand our collective impacts on rivers as well as potential solutions.


Our organization was established because we felt that so many people doing great projects deserved more support. The second goal from WFMD is bringing together all kinds of organizations which work with or enjoy rivers, lakes, deltas and migratory fish. The impact of two or three organizations is not comparable to the impact of thousands of organizations working together with one uniform message, and this is exactly what made WFMD big in scale since the very beginning.




Infostand under the Devín Castle National Cultural Monument, along the confluence of the Danube and Morava Rivers. The workshop took place in Bratislava (Slovakia) thanks to the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Zoology Association

IMAGE: A. Kušíková, Slovakia


World Fish Migration Day was celebrated for the first time on May 24, 2014. The team from World Fish Migration Foundation worked several months to contact different organizations that wished to share their knowledge and reach their local communities. Our team aimed to reach 75 events worldwide. However, the results surpassed this goal, reaching more than 270 events in 53 different countries. How was this possible? Simple. There are many more organizations working on river restoration and the recovery of fish populations than what we imagined. Each organization is incredibly enthusiastic and eager to share its knowledge, and to show how we can do better and to help people appreciate why this is so important.







Inauguration of a fishway for the LIFE+ project Scalluvia in the 'Polders van Kruibeke' (Belgium)


The next World Fish Migration Day is coming soon - April 21st of 2018.


Already, many organizations from all corners of the globe are preparing their events. Countries as diverse as Ethiopia, New Zealand, Chile, Russia, Romania, Bangladesh, France, Japan, Morocco, Brazil, Mongolia, Australia will hold as many types of events as you could imagine. This is because the important thing on that day it is not how you do it, but that you are there.  These events include: workshops and lectures, kayak and boating competitions/rides, river

visits, dam removal project inaugurations, documentary screenings, children’s activities, fish monitoring demonstrations to families, special migratory fish museum expositions, river clean-ups, informative video creations, theatre plays, festivals, fishing day, barbecues and others.




Celebration of river restoration efforts in Klingavälsån River (Sweden) as part of WFMD2016

IMAGE: Johan Hammar & Ivan Olsson

Because many people and ecosystems depend on rivers and migratory fish, we cannot delay this any longer. We need to understand as an urgent priority that there are other options for avoiding and mitigating river damage without giving up on progress. As Bob Irvin (President of American Rivers) says, “This is the most hopeful work that I can imagine in the environmental field. Because rivers will come back if we only give them the chance”.


To all of you who work on rivers, deltas, lakes and migratory fish, this is for you: share your work, your passion, make a difference in your community. You cannot make a global change by yourself, but you can bring it closer with your participation. Join us!






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