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World Fish Migration Day 2016

Healthy, free-flowing rivers provide numerous benefits to people and nature. They recharge groundwater, balance nutrients in soils, nurture floodplains that protect against extreme events, and provide clean water and food to local communities. In many places, pristine rivers also offer social respite or spiritual fulfillment. And almost everywhere, they are home to vulnerable freshwater biodiversity.

Some of the most iconic and important freshwater species are migratory fish. They navigate complex systems of connected rivers and streams, traveling to and from crucial headwaters all the way through coastal and marine habitats. In some places, these migratory fish are a key source of protein for people. Elsewhere, they fuel recreational businesses, like fly-fishing. Almost everywhere, their futures are directly tied to the health of their freshwater habitats.

Unfortunately, the world’s rivers are at risk, with thousands of new dams and other infrastructure planned and increased pressure from water abstraction, climate change, overfishing and development. Thankfully, innovative solutions are being implemented to maintain or restore rivers and protect connectivity around the world. These solutions deserve recognition.

On May 21, 2016, the world celebrated the connection between fish, rivers and people through World Fish Migration Day. With over 1000 organizations planning local, global and/or digital events, we seek to raise awareness of the importance of free-flowing rivers and migratory fish.

Meet the Fish