Half a million euros were awarded to the World Fish Migration Foundation (WFMF), recognizing the important work of protecting migratory fish and rivers through awareness and dam removal;
With over 100,000 unused dams located in European rivers this grant provides the momentum needed to scale up the removal of these barriers. Dam removal is one of the most effective ways to restore fish stocks and address the crisis of freshwater biodiversity loss.
A recent global study supported by 16 international NGO’s (incl. WFMF) found that migratory fish populations have declined by 76%, and freshwater biodiversity is declining at twice the rate of forests and oceans;
March 15, 2020 – The World Fish Migration Foundation has received a donation of half a million euro from the Dutch Postcode Lottery. Founder and director of the foundation Herman Wanningen: “This is a recognition of the work we do and gives a strong impulse for dam removals and river restoration. We are honoured and overjoyed with this donation.
”The World Fish Migration Foundation is the spider in the web for healthy rivers full of fish. The Groningen, Netherlands-based foundation creates awareness through a positive lens, participates in research, and helps with dam removals. For example, the World Fish Migration Foundation recently participated in an international study on freshwater fish with 15 other global conservation organizations.
What did it show? The population of freshwater fish has declined by 76%. Biodiversity in rivers is declining twice as fast as in forests or oceans. Large river fish, weighing more than 30 kilograms, have become virtually extinct. This is partly due to dams, pollution, overfishing and climate change. The study shows how urgent the problem is for ecosystems, communities and economies around the globe.
Besides raising awareness and drawing attention to the issues, the foundation also facilitates dam removals. Dam removals have proven to be one of the most effective ways to restore fish stocks and biodiversity in rivers. According to Wanningen, there are at least 100,000 obsolete dams in Europe, ready to be removed. “With the contribution from Postcode Lottery participants, we can scale up our foundation, and therefore dam removal. This is good news for us and for fish”
About WFMF: Founded in 2014, the World Fish Migration Foundation (WFMF) is an international organization with a mission to save migratory fish in rivers. The Foundation harnesses global attention for the challenges migratory fish face through a multitude of international, collaborative projects aimed at advocating for obsolete dam removals, and supporting initiatives that open up important swimways. WFMF is initiator and coordinator of the Dam Removal Europe coalition.
This group of international NGO’s work together on making dam removal a viable option for European river practitioners.
For more information, visit www.fishmigration.org and www.damremoval.eu