Fish, rivers and people: Making the connection
May 21, 2016 is World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) and you are invited to take part and help make an aquatic connection. The Service, along with thousands of other organizations around the world, is celebrating this one day global-local event to create awareness of the importance of open waters for migrating fish.
Most people do not actually see fish migrate the way we see birds or other land animals migrate. But in fact, many species of fish migrate thousands of miles every year in order to reach feeding and spawning habitats critical for survival. And this is where “connection” makes all the difference.
Historically, waterways from oceans to rivers, streams, ponds and lakes were free flowing migratory routes that fish travelled to feed, nest and spawn. But over time, these aquatic byways became blocked with dams, roads, inefficient culverts and pollution, which hindered the ability of fish to complete their life cycles and caused declines in populations.
So what’s the big deal? Why should I be concerned about fish populations? Migratory fish provide many benefits to people and wildlife: They are a critical food source, they are indicators of the health our waters, they provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and help boost economies around the globe.
Bring on World Fish Migration Day (WFMD), and the opportunity for you to support fish conservation in your own backyard. By working together we can increase awareness, share ideas and make commitments to take action for a better aquatic world for everyone.
Leading up to WFMD, check out the useful resources on the websites to learn, help educate others and make a plan for your action. Many organizations throughout the U.S., including here in the Northeast, are planning events leading up to, and the day of WFMD. Participation is sure to be fun, educational and satisfying. Together we can make a difference in helping many migratory fish species recover and even thrive!
Resources for World Fish Migration Day!