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Clanwilliam sandfish (Labeo seeberi) survey - part of The Cape Critical Rivers Project © Bruce Paxton

Clanwilliam sandfish (Labeo seeberi) survey – part of The Cape Critical Rivers Project. Photo: Bruce Paxton

The IUCN SSC/WI Freshwater Fish Specialist Group was established in 2004 and the group’s inaugural meeting was held in 2005 in Chester, UK. Amongst the participants were experts from various oganisations and regions, including South America, North America, Central America, Africa, South Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Southeast Asia. During this meeting, the group drew up its vision and mission as follows:

Our Vision

Freshwater fishes sustained in their natural environments.

Our Mission

To achieve conservation and sustainable use of freshwater fishes and their habitats through:

• generating and disseminating sound scientific knowledge;
• creating widespread awareness of their values, and
• influencing decision-making processes at all levels.

The FFSG is the only freshwater fish group with a global remit and agenda in conservation and sustainability. There are three other SSC Specialist Groups, which have some freshwater fishes as part of their remit: salmon, sturgeon, and sharks and rays. The FFSG collaborates with these groups where appropriate.