YWG June 2020 Newsletter

Dear YWG supporter,

Here is the latest news:

World Fish Migration Day

Those of you who participated on in the Global Swimways Webinar which started on 14th May will agree that it was a great success. If you missed it not to worry, because you can catch up with any of the 22 hours recorded which includes the Africa section by clicking here



Saving the Sandfish Project

This project led by Dr Jeremy Shelton (Freshwater Research Centre) has received a conservation grant from the National Geographic Society to help save the Endangered Clanwilliam Sandfish which is now extinct in the Olifants system and is hanging on by a thread in the Doring catchment. The main objectives of this project are to: (1) increase recruitment of Clanwilliam sandfish by rescuing and relocating young fish to safer habitats, thereby securing a larger future breeding population, (2) capacitate stakeholders (landowners and conservation personnel) to assist with these and future rescue operations ensure the sustainability of conservation interventions, (3) raise the profile of freshwater conservation locally through immersive storytelling and with a wider audience through documentary filmmaking, and (4) apply repeatable survey methods from the start of the project to track and measure the success of our interventions and to inform future conservation actions for this and other threatened fish species.  

Another aim of the project is to promote responsible flyfishing for endemic species such as Clanwilliam yellowfish and Clanwilliam sawfin and FOSAF will be donating R20 000,00 to this end. For further information on this project click in the links below:

Saving Sandfish WFMF Webinar (starts at 1:32)

Saving Sandfish web page

Saving Sandfish web series: episode 1

With this work, alongside CapeNature’s plans for the area the future for this critically endangered fish looks far brighter. We will keep you informed of progress in the next newsletters.

Mid Vaal report by Chris Williams

As the Coronavirus prevention and containment measures slowly ease, so FOSAF/YWG and other interested/affected parties are able to claw back in our combined fight against pollution also corruption, apathy and ineptitude of national and provincial governmental departments and municipalities. SAVE The Vaal Environment is currently scaling up their legal pressure against the various entities at all levels as a result of the DWS Minister’s lack of action and commitment in recent weeks.

On a positive note today (20 June) both SCOPA (Standing Committee on Public Accounts) and SIU (Special Investigations Unit) have a total of 42 corruption cases up before the NPA. These are against the Department of Water and Sanitation also against various water boards. Being targeted as prime offenders are the local boards at Sedibeng (mid-Vaal), Amatola (East London) and Lepelle (Polokwane). SCOPA and SIU have applied to the President for search and seizure proclamations and subsequent prosecutions of the guilty. This is a first for internal governmental regulators and is to be applauded.

Major clean-up action of both our rivers and of politicians/administrators is needed right now as we enter a new era!

Kind regards,