The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

World Fish Migration Platform

World Fish Migration Day 2020

This guest blog was written by Roxanne Diaz, World Fish Migration Foundation Communications Manager.
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Love-Flows
Migratory fishes are a strong, remarkable group of species. There are more than 1,100 freshwater species which migrate a distance of more than 100 km; some swim over 11,000 km over the course of their lifetimes. They navigate using the currents, magnetic fields, and with their sense of taste and smell. Migratory fish are a crucial link in the food chain and play an important role in creating healthy and productive river systems.

They support billions of people around the world who depend on them for food, sport, research and intrigue. 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.

To raise the awareness of these overlooked species, the World Fish Migration Foundation coordinates World Fish Migration Day every two years. World Fish Migration Day is a one-day global celebration to improve the public's understanding of the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers and how to reduce our impacts on them. On this day, thousands of organizations, schools, aquariums, zoos and communities organize their local events to educate and excite people about migratory fish species and our collective reliance on healthy free-flowing rivers.
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1500 Organizations Around the World to Celebrate World Fish Migration Day

Event Highlights Importance of Open Rivers and Migratory Fish

World Fish Migration Day (WFMD), held on May 21, 2016, will bring together more than 1,500 organizations, featuring more than 350 events worldwide. 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.


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. Physical barriers—including dams, weirs and sluices—are one of the most widespread challenges for these species. In addition to blocking migratory paths, these man-made structures disrupt the natural flow of rivers, which is critical fish spawning. Migratory species depend on open rivers and natural pulses of water to reproduce, feed and complete their life cycles. The main goal of WFMD 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 impacts. WFMD will be marked by events ranging from educational tours of river restoration projects to global inaugurations of “fishways” that help migratory species bypass water infrastructure. Family and educational events will also include celebrations at zoos and aquariums worldwide, drawing and coloring contests, and kayak tours.
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