IUCN Freshwater Fish Specialist Group

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23rd February 2015

FFSG Members Co-Author Chapter in WCPA Book on Protected Area Governance and Management

IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas has published its book onWCPA_FW_Chapter Protected Area Governance and Management.  It includes a chapter on freshwater and estuarine conservation, co-authored by members of FFSG. The book will be the leading resource for conservation practitioners, decision-makers, and students of conservation biology and landscape planning, for many years to come.

The e-book can be downloaded free, on-line at the ANU website at:

The book was officially launched at the UNEP-WCMC Protected Planet Pavilion, Sydney World Parks Congress on 15th November 2014, at an event attended by 300 people. The launch was one of the most successful events of the Protected Planet Pavilion.

A subsequent side event was arranged on 17th November to launch the freshwater chapter. This was co-led by Jamie Pittock (Australian National University; and principal author for the freshwater chapter), Ian Harrison (FFSG, co-lead of the WCPA Freshwater Task Force, and co-author) and Becky Flitcroft (US Forest Service, and co-author). The side event was attended by members of FFSG and included short presentations from Russ Mittermeier (Executive Vice-Chair, Conservation International) and some of the chapter’s co-authors.


Other news

7th November 2014

Freshwater Events at the IUCN World Parks CongressIUCN Parks Congress logo

There will be several freshwater events at the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia this November. A copy of the programme is available from the Congress website The World Parks Congress website.

We have also created an annotated copy of programme events, which focuses on the “water” & “freshwater” events. It is available to view or download here. This amended copy of the programme is for all “water” events, and those highlighted in yellow are also tagged as “freshwater” specific. More details on all of the events can be found using the online WPC Programme site.

9th September 2014

Bringing Biodiversity and Ecosystems Focus to New BookThe Global Water System in the Anthropocene

Members of the FFSG and the IUCN Freshwater Conservation Sub-Committee have co-authored, as part of an international collaboration with colleagues from several other NGOs and academic institutions, a chapter in the upcoming book The Global Water System in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance. The chapter, which is entitled “Sustaining Freshwater Biodiversity in the Anthropocene,” stresses the importance of conserving freshwater biodiversity as a critical part of water resources management.

The book which will be publicly launched on September 16 at the Center for Development Research in Bonn, Germany, will be an important resource for many different decision-makers, academics, and researchers. It includes several contributions from a conference in 2013, Water in the Anthropocene. Some 350 international water experts converged in Bonn, Germany, for this conference to discuss the challenges being posed by human impacts on the earth’s water systems, from glaciers, to groundwater, to rivers, lakes and deltas. The conference identified “the countless decades of neglect and millions of misguided decisions we make daily regarding this essential resource”, and searched for solutions in this new era of human dominated change. See the 3 minute film that accompanied the conference.

28th August 2014

FFSG Welcomes New Region and Co-Chairs

The FFSG is pleased to announce the addition of a new Central Asia region. Up until now the FFSG did not have full regional coverage in the area. Two distinguished ichthyologists from the area, Dr. Bakhtiyar Kamilov and Dr. Bakhtiyor Karimov, both of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences, have agree to take serve as Co-Chairs for the new region.

Freshwater fishes in the area face serious threats, which only reinforced our desire to expand FFSG activities and coverage in Central Asia. Priorities in the region include developing freshwater fish assessments as part of the global freshwater biodiversity program being led by Will Darwall and his staff at the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit in Cambridge. Additional projects will focus on basic and applied scientific research in the fields of aquatic ecology, ecotoxicology, impact of water quality on fishes, and fish biodiversity conservation projects. Other work will include studies on the impact of aquaculture technologies on the raising of fish and various issues unique to the Central Asia region.

Please join us in welcoming the two new Co-Chairs and supporting efforts to help protect freshwater fishes and habitats in Central Asia and elsewhere. Questions or comments can be directed to [email protected].

26th August 2014

FFSG to Participate in Aquarama 2015

Aquarama Logo

Aquarama is the leading biennial international ornamental fish, aquatic plants, invertebrates

and accessories trade exhibition in the world ( The 2015 Conference in Singapore will include a specially convened public aquarium committee launching a programme of sub-events aimed specifically at public aquarium personnel. This committee, consisting of Scott Dowd (Senior Aquarist at the New England Aquarium, Boston, USA; and FFSG Steering Committee), Ramón Barbosa (Senior Curator at the S.E.A. Aquarium in Sentosa, Singapore) and Rob Jones (‘The Aquarium Vet’ and veterinarian at the SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Australia) and co-ordinated by Aquarama Consultant, John Dawes. The Committee is devising a programme of activities focused on the needs of the public aquarium industry, fostering closer links between the home aquarium industry and public aquaria, and promoting opportunities for sustainable management of wild populations of aquarium fishes that support livelihoods for communities living in regions of biological importance.

For more information about these exciting and important opportunities visit this webpage  (

WFMP Logo22nd July 2014

World Fish Migration Day 2014 Report Available Online

As a follow up to the successful WFMD in May, organizers have recently published a report highlighting some of the events and achievements that occurred in over 50 nations worldwide. The report, which can be downloaded from the WFMD website,, summarizes the types of issues addressed by the day’s events as well as some of its achievements. The overwhelming support from over 1000 organizations that participated in WFMD has led the organizers and sponsors to create the World Fish Migration Platform. This new Platform plans to host several events, including web seminars and an inaugural International Fish Passage Conference, which is scheduled for 23-25 June, 2015 in The Netherlands. To find out more about the WFMP, visit their website (

European eel, Anguilla anguilla © David Curnick

European eel, Anguilla anguilla. Photo: David Curnick

9th July 2014

Over a Dozen Freshwater Eels Assessed for Red List

Beginning in March of 2013, the Anguillid Specialist Sub Group (ASSG) of the FFSG began the vital process of conducting a long-overdue assessment of freshwater eel species. It was to be the most comprehensive assessment of anguillid species to date. Last month, 12 of the 13 assessments conducted by the ASSG were published on the Red List (the last species is due to be added to the Red List in November). Three species were assessed as Threatened (one Critically Endangered, one Endangered, and one Vulnerable), four were Near Threatened, two were Least Concern, and three were Data Deficient. Freshwater eels face a host of complex threats, and assessments like these are merely the first steps on the road to successful conservation.

To find out more about what the ASSG is up to, please visit their page on our website or read the related article by David Jacoby and Matthew Gollock in the latest issue of our newsletter.

Capture28th April 2014

1st Announcement: Freshwater Fishes FAITAG workshop

Following the successful Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group (FAITAG) Elasmobranch workshop in 2013, the next workshop will be taking place in Vienna this autumn. The goal of this workshop is to develop the strategy for freshwater fishes in public aquaria.

Find out more here

ZSL standard white jpeg

20th March 2014

ZSL supports the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group

The Freshwater Fish Specialist Group would like to thank the Zoological Society of London, UK (ZSL) for their generous support towards our running costs this year. The FFSG is a small organization with a challenging mission ‘to achieve conservation and sustainable use of freshwater fishes and their habitats‘. Without the support of organisations, such as ZSL, it would not be possible for us to reach our goals. Find out more here

Gordon 004, 2010 Shade

24th February 2014

Professor Gordon McGregor Reid awarded the IUCN Species Survival Commission Chair’s Citation of Excellence

In February 2014, Gordon McGregor Reid (Past FFSG Global Chair) received the SSC Chair’s Citation of Excellence in recognition for his exemplary, visionary and charismatic leadership of the Freshwater Fish Specialist Group, between 2004 and 2013. The Citation of Excellence, created in 2004, is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to the SSC.

Find out more here


14th February

Upcoming Events: Mahseer Management and Conservation Workshops, India

Workshops, supported by the FFSG South Asia office, are being organised on the 29th March and 5th April 2014, in Bangalore and Uttarakhand, to help secure the future for India’s endangered mahseers.

Find out more here

BioBlitz logo 1

2nd February 2014

FFSG and Other International Conservation Groups Launch “Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz”, Inviting ‘Citizen Scientists’ to Help Monitor Fish Species

We need YOU to submit your photographs of freshwater fish seen in their natural habitat. Whether you are an angler, photographer, student or nature lover, upload your photos with details of when and where you saw the fish. Experts will be on hand to help identify the species. This information can help scientists to describe new species, help assess risk of extinction, increase our knowledge on many species, and track the spread of invasive fish. Find out how you can be a part of it here!

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