Freshwater Fish Specialist Group

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In August 2004, a new IUCN SSC/WI Freshwater Fish Specialist Group was initiated to be managed jointly by IUCN/SSC and Wetlands International. Professor Gordon McGregor Reid, the-then Executive Director of Chester Zoo, UK was appointed as the Specialist Group Chair. The group's inaugural meeting was held in 2005 in Chester, UK. Amongst the participants were experts from various organisations and regions including South America, North America, Central America, Africa, South Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Southeast Asia. During this meeting, the group drew up its vision and mission as follows:


Freshwater fishes sustained in their natural environments.


To achieve conservation and sustainable use of freshwater fishes and their habitats through:

  • generating and disseminating sound scientific knowledge;
  • creating widespread awareness of their values; and
  • influencing decision-making processes at all levels.


We have a new global Chair as of 1 December 2013: Dr Richard Sneider. 

Programme Officer is Suzanne Turnock.

Latest FFSG News

Saving Freshwater Fishes and Habitats
Issue 3 • October 2013

•  Thank you to Gordon McGregor Reid
•  Queensland’s endangered gobies
•  Endemic fish species of the Cape Floristic Region Biodiversity Hotspot
•  Redline torpedo barbs: Understanding conservation issues
•  And more…..

Download here [PDF, 3MB] 


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World Fish Migration Day calls attention to the need to restore the connections in rivers and the sea for migratory fish, to achieve healthy fish stocks and productive rivers. Migratory fish (like salmon, sea trout, dorado, shad, giant catfish, sturgeon and eel) are threatened by barriers such as weirs, dams and sluices; built for water management, hydropower and land drainage. Around the world people rely on these fishes as their primary source of protein. Water and resource managers and conservationists are striving to improve migration routes between and within rivers, deltas and the oceans; all of which fish need to survive.

World Fish Migration Day is held to improve the publics’ understanding of the importance of migratory fish and their needs, as well as healthy rivers. Raising awareness, sharing ideas, securing commitments and building communities around river basins are essential aspects of fish passage and river restoration. On this day, we 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. To date we have more than 40 locations worldwide and are looking for more organizations that want to join us. A map with event locations can be found at:

Would you like to organize an event?
Participating organizations will organize their own event and outreach communication under the umbrella of the World Fish Migration Day. Wanningen Water Consult & LINKIT Consult, partnering with WWF, The Nature Conservancy and the FFSG, will take care of the central coordination, international publicity, and maintain the main website ( - online in October 2013). All projects will be highlighted on this website, social media and in the press.

For more information or to organize an event: 
E-mail or call 00 31 6 18 27 25 72




Freshwater fishes

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