Our first celebration of World Fish Migration Day in Brussels

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 Last week, on the 22nd and 25th of May, we celebrated World Fish Migration Day for the first time in Brussels. Thank you to all participants for joining this kick-off edition! 

 On the 22nd, participants discovered the refreshing dam removal stories from across Europe as beautifully depicted in the documentary #Dambusters. A panel discussion following the screening allowed panelists to stress key challenges to migratory freshwater fish conservation. Cecile Fouquet (EP RecFishing Forum), Sergiy Moroz (EEB), and Wetlands International Europe’s director Chris Baker all stressed the importance of relying on science for advocacy and the need to substantially increase the knowledge base. Ways to best involve citizens through communications, trainings and events such as WFMD to make life below water more visible were also discussed. 

On Saturday, our group of brave individuals willing to face the rain and muddy riverbanks enjoyed a peaceful morning Walk along the Woluwe River. This excursion organized in collaboration with Coordination Senne and Brussels Environnement allowed participants to learn more about the Woluwe and Brussels Region’s past as a former wetland, crossed by a myriad of meandering brooks. Restoration projects to enable fish migration were showcased, highlighting solutions to protect and enhance ecosystems in urban areas.  This effort is crucial for the conservation of our rivers and allowing them to flow freely again.  

The Significance of World Fish Migration Day 

World Fish Migration Day is a global initiative aiming to highlight the importance of open rivers and migratory fish species, which are critical indicators of healthy, functioning aquatic ecosystems. 

The debut of WFMD in Brussels reflects the growing role of the city in environmental stewardship and the protection of natural resources. To ensure the survival of migratory freshwater fish species and the health of our water systems, we need a collective effort. 

Together, we can make a difference and pave the way for a sustainable future for our rivers and the remarkable fish that depend on them. We hope that this year’s events set the stage for future efforts to think of migratory freshwater fishes and how we can best work towards their protection.