Freshwater Programme: Conserving freshwater fish and ecosystems
The freshwater programme addresses an urgent but largely unrecognised conservation crisis in freshwater ecosystems. As industrial water use has risen, and human development pressures intensified, freshwater habitats have been pushed further and further away from the natural conditions in which species evolved. This has had dramatic implications for the survival of freshwater fish and other species. According to the Living Planet Report, between 1970 and 2012, from a sample of 3,324 populations of 881 species across the globe, the abundance of freshwater species has declined by 81%, and one third of these are now assessed to be endangered species at risk of extinction.
Shoal is an exciting new initiative aimed at engaging a wide range of organisations to grow and develop interest and funding for freshwater species conservation, particularly freshwater fish. This is a group of species in urgent need of more attention and action. Effective conservation of freshwater fish can maintain and improve the functioning of whole freshwater ecosystems – reaping benefits for other species, habitats and people.
Shoal seeks to engage a diverse community from across the profit and non-profit sectors to be part of this innovative new partnership that will change the face of freshwater fish conservation. Shoal is designed to be a true partnership from the outset, including and going beyond funding. This partnership will identify and support exemplary freshwater fish conservation projects, as well as enabling the exchange of skills and knowledge and the building of capacity and awareness. It will nurture mutual respect, collaborative projects and joint funding to enable conservation action in the most critical places for freshwater fish and their habitats. Synchronicity Earth is the initial host organisation for Shoal.