From 2 to 4 June 2023, the annual meeting of the Goodeid Working Group was held in Maribor – and Xiphophorus Working Group was there, too :-). Several breeders from all over Europe came to spend three days full of enriching professional program together.
Those who arrived early on Friday had the opportunity to see Jože Vrbančič’s extensive and varied breeding facilities, followed by an evening where we shared stories and breeding successes over dinner. The next morning we took the cable car to the top of the mountain, where the beautiful Belle Vue Grand Hotel awaited us. Perched on top, the hotel boasted a breathtaking panoramic view that greeted us as we entered the conference room to begin our presentations.
- During the presentations, we gained insight into endangered fish species and their habitats in West Asia from Baran Yoğurtçuoğlu.
- Zoran Marčić gave a great presentation on the conservation efforts dedicated to the protection of Telestes polylepis and T. karsticus in Croatia.
- Erwin Radax shared his experiences from their recent expedition in Mexico, highlighting the diverse species found in the Coatzacoalcos river system. His presentation was again enriched with numerous underwater photos and videos.
- Our fellow breeder Rafael Kölzer presented his findings on the maintenance of goodeid species in Portugal.
- Afterwards, we had the privilege of attending presentations by Jože Vrbančič and Torsten Friedrich on the importance of the Allotoca Mesa Central project and similar species conservation programs. They provided an overview of the progress and challenges faced by the Allotoca project in the past year. The presentation successfully accomplished its goal by reminding us all why we are in this endeavor and reigniting our passion for the sometimes difficult work involved in conserving these species. It provided new impetus to continue our conservation efforts.
- Finally, Omar Dominguez and Michael Köck joined us online straight from Mexico to greet the assembled attendees and provide an update on the current status and successes of reintroducing Zoogoneticus tequila and Skiffia francease into their natural habitat.
We ended the day with another great dinner full of engaging professional discussions.
On the final day of the meeting, some of the participants visited the “Ormoške lagune” nature reserve, where they had the opportunity to take part in an exciting and visually engaging guided tour.
The meeting once again showed the immense cohesion of our common cause for which we are fighting. We learned a lot from each other, made many new friendships, and we all look forward to the next opportunity to get together.