Children carrying river catfish Tonlé Sap - © Zeb Hogan
Bonn, 19 May 2016 - World Fish Migration Day is being celebrated on 21 May for the second time, with the theme “Connecting Fish, Rivers and People”. Over 1,500 organizations are involved and events are taking place in more than 400 different localities around the world to mark the day and to highlight the importance of healthy rivers. Organized by the World Fish Migration Foundation, this one day global initiative calls attention to the needs of migratory fish to ensure that more natural river networks remain connected, and those already fragmented can be restored.
“This is one day when everyone can take time to reflect on the importance of the river near where they live,” said Dr Zeb Hogan. Hogan is fish biologist, research professor at the Nevada University and the CMS COP-appointed Councillor for fish. “Migratory fish are very important to people and important for food. In the Mekong River for example, 40 to 70% of fish are migratory; and 60 million people living along the Mekong are getting the majority of their protein from fish”. You can see Hogan’s interview with CMS for World Fish Migration Day here.
Migratory fish such as catfish, sturgeon, eel and salmon support the diets and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide. However, these fish face a number of threats – the major one being physical barriers, including dams, weirs and sluices. The main goal of World Fish Migration Day is to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of migratory fish, the need for healthy rivers, the communities that depend on both, and the options we have to minimize or avoid human impacts.
One day after World Fish Migration Day, on 22 May, the world will also be celebrating the “International Day for Biological Diversity” under the theme “Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”. Like World Fish Migration Day, it is another great opportunity to highlight that biodiversity is the foundation for life and for the essential services provided by ecosystems, underpinning people’s livelihoods. By halting biodiversity loss, we are investing in people, their lives and their well-being. “Some migratory species are umbrella species, and so if you protect them, you also protect the entire ecosystem,” added Hogan.
Also watch Dr Zeb Hogan's video on National Geographic Channel on World Fish Migration Day:
Last updated on 01 July 2016