World Fish Migration Foundation

The World Fish Migration Foundation was founded as a non-profit organisation by Herman Wanningen in the Netherlands in the year 2014. The organisation leads a number of activities to help save migratory fish in rivers and provides useful tools for practitioners, organisations and the general public in the form of books, posters and documentaries.

Half of the migratory fish populations declined in half a century, and several species are going extinct. This threatens the primary food source of over 1 billion people, decreases biodiversity and puts life-sustaining river and marine ecosystems at risk. 55% of the migratory fish population declined in less than 50 years, mainly through habitat loss and degradation. In Europe alone there are more than 1,000,000 barriers. The number of barriers worldwide is growing and is expected to continue growing due to climate change. Removing dams can be cheaper than maintaining them.

The foundation is part of a 6.2 million Euro multi-disciplinary EU Horizon 2020 research project called AMBER, that will deliver the first comprehensive Atlas of river barriers across Europe and will apply adaptive barrier management to reconnect Europe’s rivers. In collaboration with 20 partners from 11 countries, AMBER (Adaptive Management of Barriers in European Rivers), will combine citizen science and cutting-edge advances in environmental DNA, use of drones, and valuation of ecosystem services, to map the distribution of barriers and assess their effects on freshwater habitat and organisms. The consortium members consist of hydroelectric companies, water providers, NGOs, anglers and local authorities to restore river connectivity in a way that maximizes the benefits of hydropower but reduces environmental impacts.

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