What do we actually do in the IG BSSW?

The IG BSSW e.V. (Internationale Gemeinschaft Barben-Salmler-Schmerlen-Welse e.V.) is an organisation that has been active for 33 years. It distinguishes itself from other associations by living and promoting the long-term conservation of fish species in the aquatic hobby (in captivity), as well as in nature, with a focus on consistency.

The approximately 500 members are spread over 17 countries worldwide and the strength of the IG BSSW is based in the fact that these members are very well connected among themselves. The aim of the association is the permanent conservation by breeding and, in particular, the first breeding of difficult species that are considered endangered in the wild and whose population strength is insufficiently known. Species such as Parancistrus nudiventris from central Brazil are massively threatened by dam projects, whereas the rather inconspicuous species Hisonotus charrua from Uruguay is threatened by general biotope destruction. Both species are economically almost insignificant but have found a place in private projects in the ranks of IG BSSW and are propagated by members. The experience and data gained in this way are updated in constant exchange with scientists in the field in order to support breeding projects in the fish’s homeland as well and to press for the necessity of biotope conservation.

Furthermore, the IG BSSW uses funds collected from members to promote active research on fish in their natural environment internationally. It also acts as an intermediary between science and aquaristics by making difficult-to-keep species available through offspring projects or specialised dealers, thus directly supporting research worldwide.

Offspring of certain species are distributed among the members at specially organised congresses and symposia, which mainly serve the further education of the participants, and thus form the basis for further breeding projects taking place internationally. However, especially species that have not been reproduced so far benefit from these meetings, as this is the only way that globally existing individual specimens can be brought together into groups and potentially reproduced. Although commercial ornamental fishing must undoubtedly be supported locally, as it is a lucrative and at the same time environmentally friendly source of income for local fishermen, the aim of the IG BSSW is always to collect information and helpful data in order to be able to reproduce successes in the future. For this purpose, many members take on long journeys and high costs, which primarily serve the preservation of species in aquaristics, but also in nature in the long term.

The attached sample articles give an insight into our work and are part of our association organ, the BSSW Report, which is published four times a year and has established itself internationally as a specialist magazine. The subscription is part of a membership in the IG BSSW e.V.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at leiter@ig-bssw.org.

Behind the thumbnails you can find some of the PDF articles for download. Click!