"I welcome the establishment of World Fish Migration Day", says Ivan Zavadsky, ICPDR Executive Secretary. "Many migratory fish are among our best indicators for healthy rivers and aquatic ecosystems, and this day will help to generate support for more sustainable water management in general." The ICPDR is actively working towards the conservation of Danube sturgeons, but they are not the only migratory fish in need for support.
Many migratory fish such as salmon, trout, shad, lamprey, giant catfish, sturgeons and eels are threatened worldwide by barriers such as weirs, dams and sluices built for water management, hydropower and land drainage. This makes it difficult for fish to reach their spawning grounds, and can conceivably cause species extinction.
Video message from Sharon Dijksma.
Millions of people around the world rely on these fishes as their primary source of protein and for their livelihoods. Water managers and conservationists are striving to protect and improve fish migration routes between and within rivers, deltas and the oceans. These ‘fish highways’ are vital for their survival.
World Fish Migration Day is held to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of free flowing rivers and migratory fish routes for fish. Raising awareness, sharing ideas, securing commitments and building communities around river basins are essential aspects of fish passage and river restoration.
The ICPDR has been active in fostering longitudinal connectivity in the Danube River Basin for a long time. Recently, it published a technical guidance document for the construction of fish migration aids and it is an active supporter of the “Danube Sturgeon Task Force”. Danube Day on 29 June 2014 will be held under the motto of “Get active for a living Danube”, highlighting the need for bio- and landscape diversity including the importance of fish migration routes and green corridors.
World Fish Migration Day will connect celebrations and events that start in New Zealand, and follow the sun; ending as the sun sets on the west coast of North America. More than 250 locations will be connected worldwide. Events planned vary from a fish way tour in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) to walks along the River Kuma (Japan) to observe the dam removal project to talks, seminars and kids’ activities planned in many countries around the world.
- Measures for ensuring fish migration at transverse structures (1.03 MB)
Sturgeon 2020 (581.02 KB) A program for protection and rehabilitation of Danube sturgeons - by the Danube Sturgeon Task Force
Sturgeons are sensitive to environmental pressures and therefore valuable indicators for healthy rivers. This is why the ICPDR has endorsed sturgeons as flagship species. There are six species of sturgeons native in the Danube River Basin, but the survival of these ancient fish is threatened by a range of issues. Through the "Danube Sturgeon Task Force", the ICPDR contributes to actions such as the protection of habitats, the development of migration aids, the breeding of healthy stocks in sheltered facilities, or the struggle against illegal fishing and caviar trade.