Today this project has evolved from its humble beginnings into a 
multidisciplinary conservation and community development
project managed by the Fresh Water Research Centre.

Though when it all started, we thought the name “Cinderella Story” best
described the immediate need for urgency in saving this
species in its 11th hour.  

Click through to the individual videos, blog posts, and content below.
We hope you enjoy the Adventure. 

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– WWF South Africa –

Part 1: Finding The Fish

Sitting in a meeting with the teams from the Fresh Water Research Centre and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the last thing I thought I would be asked was “do you think you can document us doing a fish relocation project”? Well lions, buffalo, elephant, wild dog even penguin these we have all been involved with, but fish have never crossed my mind. A few weeks later we found ourselves in the middle on no where following the banks of one of the last truly wild rivers in Southern Africa, in search of a few hundred fish to relocate. 

The Blog - Coming Soon

“The Clanwilliam Yellowfish (Labeobarbus capensis), a local endemic species classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN, is still found in the Doring River Basin.”

Part 2: Stepping Stones

To be honest, we had to see it to believe it, herding fish along rivers and tributaries, as if we were an R22 helicopter performing aerial acrobatics with kudu or gemsbok during a mass capture operation in the Kalahari. It was spectacular to see a group of conservationists herding fish downstream into capture nets to save their species. 

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“bass barriers … are small water falls that invasive species can not swim over, upstream … this means vulnarable species have a safe haven” 

Part 3: Seeking Refuge 

Once captured the teams move the fish from the alien infested lower reaches of the river into containers and on to the back of off road vehicles which set off towards the upper reaches of the river or its source. This region of the river was specifically chosen for its ecological integrity, as well as the presence of bass barriers, ensuring invasive fish are unable to reach the vulnarable species by swimming up stream. 

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“rivers may be safe havens for vulnerable fish species, but rapidly increasing water temperatures due to climate change is a constant threat” 

Part 4: Aliens

It was discovered that bass (invasive fish) were unable to swim up stream over water falls or cascades higher than 1 meter, thus earning them the name “Bass Barriers”. So when once we had found a prestine ecological area to release the indigenous fish, far above the “bass barriers” each fish was checked by hand so as to ensure we were not accidently releasing invasive fish into this safe haven we had created for these species. 

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” there is a age old discussion around invasive fish species being better for fishing, but destructive for the environmnt, why dont we catch and release indigenous “

Part 4: What Is Water

We find it important to remember that conservation is people-based, without the efforts of people from around the globe we would not have wild places, flowing streams, vibrant oceans, or efforts to rewild areas for future generations. So with this in mind, we asked the team what water meant to them. 

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“its a golden threat connecting life, nature, ecosystems and industry”

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Alongside the support given by partners and sponsors, these projects are supported by donations recieved through the e4k® Curiosity Fund. Click below if you want to support the next advneture. 

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