Clanwilliam sandfish (Labeo seeberi)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 212526900
Saving sandfish: Tracking the success of conservation translocations to save South Africaâ€™s most threatened migratory freshwater fish
Sandfish numbers in the wild are declining rapidly due to repeated recruitment failure resulting from predation by alien fish (bass and bluegill) and over-abstraction of water. With no young fish surviving to replenish the aging sandfish population, the species is headed rapidly toward extinction. With the aim of boosting the declining sandfish population through increasing recruitment and sandfish survival, in November 2020 we undertook Africaâ€™s biggest ever fish rescue: 7599 juvenile sandfish were rescued from the Biedouw River (before they fall prey to alien fish) and relocated to three farm dams in the catchment â€“ â€˜sandfish sanctuariesâ€™ created by working with land owners to remove alien fish. The next step in the project is to start releasing them back into the wild, once they reach a bass-proof size (20cm). The proposed project aims to undertake the first sandfish release (500 fish from each dam = 1500 fish in total) and to track the survival and movement of these fish to evaluate the success of these interventions and inform future sandfish conservation efforts.
Project 212526900 location - South Africa, Africa