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Financial support for dam removals

Financial support for dam removals

The World Fish Migration Foundation – of which Sportvisserij Nederland (Dutch angling association) is a partner and which draws global attention to fish migration – has received a donation of half a million euros from the participants in the Postcode Loterij. This financial support will enable the removal of more unnecessary dams in Europe.

Picture: Copyright © Ministry of Environment, Estonia

Founder and director Herman Wanningen is delighted with the donation. ‘This is a great recognition of our work and will provide a welcome boost to dam removals. The foundation is extremely happy with this.’

Migratory fish are back

Sportvisserij Nederland is also happy to see the World Fish Migration Foundation receive more attention, recognition and financial support. Just like the foundation, the association is working on various projects aimed at improving fish migration possibilities so that migratory and other fish can swim more freely.

Freshwater fish under extreme pressure

The World Fish Migration Foundation is the crucial link in achieving healthy rivers full of fish. The foundation creates awareness around fish migration in a positive way, participates in research and advises on dam removal both in the Netherlands and abroad.

According to an international study on freshwater fish in which the World Fish Migration Foundation participated recently, the population of freshwater fish has declined by more than three-quarters (76%). The biodiversity in rivers is declining twice as fast as in forests or the oceans. Large river fish weighing more than 30 kg are already virtually extinct.

Several causes

The pressure on freshwater fish has several causes, including damming, pollution, overfishing and climate change. Wanningen: ‘The study demonstrates the urgency of the problem. The message has been picked up around the world and has reached more than a billion people. Even Leonardo Dicaprio has drawn attention to the issue on his Instagram account.’

100,000 unnecessary dams

The World Fish Migration Foundation not only highlights fish migration, but also promotes it by encouraging dam removal. This is one of the most effective means of restoring fish populations and biodiversity in rivers.

Wanningen knows that there are as many as 100,000 unnecessary dams in Europe that are ‘ready to be removed’. ‘The donation from the Postcode Loterij participants means that we will be able to scale up our foundation. This is good news for both us and the fish.’
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