In commemoration of World Fish Migration Day (WFMD), the Kruger National Park will host an event at Skukuza Camp on April 21, with invitations to attend extended to the public.
The event is intended to raise awareness on the importance of migratory fish and the need for healthy, free-flowing rivers to ensure connectivity.
KNP will broadcast the day’s activities via live stream media, sharing footage with other African countries taking part in the celebrations. Visitors will be afforded the opportunity to view displays and videos on migrating fish with their families, whilst taking part in competitions and games, as well as observing live demonstrations by scientists.
The programme is as follows:
- 10h00-12h30: Stand, videos, games, family activities.
- 12h30-13h00: The official launch, where a new book, titled ‘From sea to source 2.0’ will provide a practical guide to tackling the threat of dams and promoting the protection and restoration of fish migration, will be launched.
- 14h00-16h00: Field excursion with key stakeholders.
Fish face a number of threats, and physical barriers such as dams and weirs are some of the challenges for these species. These structures also have a potential to disrupt the natural flow of rivers, which is critical for fish procreation. Free-flowing rivers help with water purification, food mitigation, and pollution control whilst protecting against storm surges and rising sea levels.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Freshwater Ecologist, Robin Petersen comments: “As KNP, we are excited to be the headquarters of Africa’s event in line with the WFMD and to mark the day; an official launch involving all the role players (both local and international experts) for this event will take place.
“We would like to proudly showcase the Park’s unique elements such as how we have successfully removed 21 obsolete dams to improve connectivity and health of rivers, how our fish ways are designed and plans to further improve current connectivity in KNP.”
As a prelude to the celebration, a pre-event will take place, aimed at primary school learners coming from communities bordering KNP, to expose them on April 19 to the fish research work conducted in the Park.
“We will host a group of learners, taking them on a field excursion along the major rivers we have in the Park such as the Sabie. The idea is to create an environment for the learners to have one-on-one interaction with the experts on the relation between rivers, fish, ecology and the wildlife in their natural environment. Education is an incredibly important way to improve awareness of these future leaders as well as the general public,” concludes Petersen.