Sponsor a sandfish

We aim to rescue 5000 young sandfish between 2020-2021 and, with the help of local land-owners, relocate them to temporary sanctuaries where they will have a chance to grow larger before being released, thereby helping to prevent sandfish populations from extinction. To support this project, please consider sponsoring a sandfish, or making a custom donation. All donations will go directly toward rescuing and relocating juvenile sandfish to safe habitats, rehabilitating sandfish habitat to create safe refugia within transformed riverscapes, collecting robust scientific data to monitor the success of these interventions and communicating the project story and findings to build further support for freshwater biodiversity conservation in South Africa.

Saving Sandfish conservation strategy

The role of this project is to increase sandfish survival and help prevent extinction of the Biedouw River sandfish population. Adult sandfish swim from the Doring into the Biedouw River to spawn in August, but none of the young fish that hatch survive more than three months due to predation by invasive alien fish and lack of sufficient river pools during summer. The aim of Saving Sandfish is to rescue young sandfish and relocate them to the upper Biedouw river, which is free of alien fish, and to off-river sanctuaries created in partnership with local land-owners who have volunteered their dams as nursery areas for young fish. These sanctuaries will allow young sandfish to grow to a size where they will be less vulnerable to being eaten by alien fish. Once large enough, the sandfish will be released into the Doring River, helping to boost local populations and increase the number of sandfish that return to spawn each year. For more information on the project, visit: 


Cape Critical Rivers 

Cape Critical Rivers (CCR) is the Freshwater Research Centre's flagship conservation programme that works with communities and land-owners to conserve some of the regions’ most threatened freshwater fish, and promote healthy, free-flowing rivers. Through collaborating with our partners CapeNature, the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation, Northern Cape (DENC), University of Cape Town, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Department of Agriculture, Landcare, the Fynbos Fish Trust (FFT), Water User Associations, Municipalities and the Department of Water and Sanitation we develop synergies that tackle complex issues around water resources and freshwater biodiversity conservation. Saving Sandfish is one of five projects currently active within the CCR programme. For more information about the programme, visit:


environment, freshwater, conservation, sandfish, cederberg


  1. Jj Viljoen

    3 March

  2. Andrea Weiss

    26 February

  3. Anonymous donation

    30 December 2020

4 Donations