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Fish Can’t Travel Like We Do! Downloadable postcard from World Fish Migration Day website

Call for videos – deadline extended to May 7th!

Migration plays a central role in the life cycle of many fish species. For feeding, reproducing, or simply completing their life cycle, fish sometimes need to move long distances, within freshwater environments or between marine and freshwater systems. Well-known fish such as eels, salmons, and sturgeons in waters of North America and Europe are only a few examples out of thousands of migratory species, found everywhere from tropical rivers to intermittent streams of Australia. For example, the longest freshwater fish migration is made by the giant Amazonian catfish Brachyplatystoma rousseauxii commonly called the Dorado, which travels up to 2,500 miles from nursery habitats in the Amazon River estuary near the Atlantic Ocean to spawning sites in the Andean headwaters of Bolivia and Colombia. Once it has spawned, it goes back to the estuary.

Human activity is severely threatening migratory fish species worldwide, mainly through the construction of man-made obstacles like dams, weirs, and sluices. Although dam construction slowed somewhat after the development frenzy in the second half of the twentieth century, a new boom is projected in coming decades and will affect some of the most diverse and untouched rivers of the world like the Amazon, the Mekong, and the Congo river. On the Mekong river alone, more than ten dams are under construction or planned on the mainstem, and up to 70% of Mekong fish are thought to be migratory, putting at risk  food and revenue for millions of people in the region.

World Fish Migration Day is a global event which is designed to bring awareness to these kinds of stories, and improve the public understanding of the importance of connected rivers. As part of this global celebration, the Olden Lab is partnering with Society for Conservation Biology Freshwater Working Group, and the World Fish Migration Foundation to create a 24-hour streaming video event which celebrates free flowing and connected rivers around the world. We are requesting submissions of short video diaries from people around the world about what their river means to them and their community – these videos will be compiled and streamed on May 21st.

If you have a story to share, we’d like to hear from you! All formats are accepted, and we can provide simple instructions to create a short narrated video about a river in your area. For more information about this event and instructions to create and upload a video, check out the PDF about the event or email Lauren Kuehne at lkuehne@uw.edu with questions or trouble with uploading.