Scientists have been looking out for spawning sandfish in the last couple of years to document this sporadic and seemingly rare occurrence. Last year it happened and a sandfish spawning run was filmed for the 1st time in history!

Over to the filming team, Dr. Jeremy Shelton and Dr. Otto Whitehead:

“The Doring is South Africa’s last truly wild free-flowing river, and is also home to a mysterious fish called the Clanwilliam sandfish (AKA ‘Onderbekvis’). In springtime when the flows are swift and the flowers are out, sandfish migrate up into tributaries like the Biedouw River in search of suitable places to spawn and lay their eggs. This episode of Saving Sandfish follows the quest to document the sandfish spawning migration for the very first time, while getting distracted by the magnificence of the valley along the way!”


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Saving Sandfish is a conservation project and web series by @fishwaterfilms which chronicles the highs and the lows of conserving one of South Africa’s most threatened migratory freshwater fish – the Clanwilliam sandfish. The series explores the diverse freshwater ecosystems of the Greater Cederberg Region and profiles the passionate scientists, conservationists and land-owners helping to save the iconic ‘Onderbekvis’ from extinction.


The project is led by the Freshwater Research Centre, in partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Fynbos Fish Trust, CapeNature and the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation.


National Geographic Society, Mohammed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund


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