What is World Fish Migration Day?

Global awareness raising event

World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) culminates every two years in a global celebration to create awareness about the importance of migratory fish and free-flowing rivers. This international day of events is coordinated by the World Fish Migration Foundation. On World Fish Migration Day, organizations from around the world coordinate their own event around the common theme of: CONNECTING FISH, RIVERS AND PEOPLE. And this year it’s all about breaking free.

After a year of lockdowns, we all want to break free. With millions of man-made barriers littering the world’s waterways, migratory fish do too! This year we want to celebrate the hundreds of dam removals executed and planned in recent years, and encourage fish heroes far and wide to advocate for free flowing rivers, the removal of barriers, and the return of rivers full of fish! Let’s Break Free!

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Why Celebrate World Fish Migration Day?

Migratory fish are extraordinary.

They travel throughout rivers to fulfil their life cycles, some swimming more than 10,000 km! They navigate using the currents, magnetic fields, even their sense of taste and smell. Billions of people around the world depend on them for food, sport, research and intrigue. However, many migratory fish species are critically endangered or threatened. The main causes are man-made barriers which disrupt the natural flow of rivers and prevent their usual migratory routes. Many fish need to migrate to reproduce, feed and complete their life cycles. Migratory fish are a crucial link in the food chain and play an important role in creating healthy and productive river systems. Furthermore, they provide an important food supply and livelihood for millions of people around the world. They are ecologically, culturally, economically, and recreationally important!

Because of this, we need to ensure the survival of these species for generations to come. However, fishes typically do not receive the attention they deserve. For this reason, it is important we raise awareness about the plight of migratory fishes. Every event hosted for World Fish Migration Day helps to shine light on the issues and brings us one step closer to helping our rivers and fish Break Free!

Read the LPI report
What do we want to achieve?

Our goals

The main goal of World Fish Migration Day is raising awareness for migratory fish and the rivers they (and we!) rely on. Creating awareness is an essential first step to make real change. World Fish Migration Day seeks to improve the public's understanding of the importance of migratory fish and how we can reduce our impact on them. The next step is to enable citizens of the world to take action. Ultimately, we aim to create sustainable commitments from NGOs, governments and industry on safeguarding free flowing rivers and restoring swimways for migratory fish!

World Fish Migration Day 2022 seeks to do just that. Our goals and ambitions next year are:

• 1,000 EVENTS
• 80 COUNTRIES
• 200 MILLION PEOPLE IN GLOBAL REACH
• 100 RIVER OPENING EVENTS
• 2,000 KM OF RIVER RESTORED/PROTECTED

We can’t wait to see what our global community accomplishes this year to increase awareness and help us get closer to the ultimate goal of rivers full of fish! Ready to join?

Find an event near youMore about the World Fish Migration Foundation

Coordination