Objectives and Organisation of the GWG


  The Goodeid Working Group is a non-profitable international Working Group managed and run on a 100% voluntary basis. It was established on 1st May, 2009 in Stoholm, Denmark in response to the critical environmental issues facing the majority of wild Goodeid species/populations, plus the poorly-documented ‘disappearance’ of many captive collections.

  The primary goal of the Goodeid Working Group is to promote collaboration between like-minded hobbyists, universities, public aquaria, zoos, museums and conservation projects in order to maintain aquarium populations of Goodeids while assisting in preservation of remaining natural habitats.

  The basis for our project is knowledge obtained via practical experiences of our members, the formation of a comprehensive species database, scientific studies, conservation work being undertaken by public members plus affiliation with scientists and volunteers from Mexico and the United States involved in monitoring wild populations.

  Diligent monitoring and long-term maintenance of captive Goodeid populations is therefore one of our board’s main endeavours, largely aided by our chapters (European and North American) and concerning the European chapter appointed Regional Group Coordinators (RGCs). 

  Within this framework individual breeders are encouraged to maintain physical and genetic integrity in their fishes since potential reintroduction schemes and sustainable long-term captive maintenance will rely on high quality stock

  Another fundamental aim is the compilation of a database containing Goodeid literature relating to systematics, biogeography, biology, ecology, captive reproduction and maintenance, practical experiences and conservation status both in nature and captivity.

New steps

  Starting with surveys to the habitats of Mexican Goodeids in 2014, the in situ part became stronger an stronger. Being at the begin restricted to ex situ breeding activities and international conventions, the travels to Mexico, the building of networks and the including of in situ information became more and more important. 

  In October 2023, the Goodeid Working Group launched together with the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Shoal, Chester Zoo, and the IUCN SSC Freshwater Conservation Committee the Plan G, an action plan for the conservation of all extant Goodeid species found in Mexico. 

  The family Profundulidae is the sister family to Goodeids. It is found in the southern part of Mexico, adjacent to the Balsas river basin, and in the Middle American countries Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. This family, though of interest for Mexican scientists, has been totally forgotten by hobbyists, mainly because they don't fit into the "typical" Killifish scheme and are additionally in areas distributed that are not targeted by aquarists. On the other hand, many of the species are living in restricted areas and are partly severly threatened. Some conservation projects (Profundulus oaxacae, Tlaloc hildebrandi) exist, but lack popularity. So all in all, Profundulids are an overlooked family without a huge lobby, similar to Goodeids in pre-GWG times. Therefore, and also paying tribute to the close relationship with Goodeids, they will be included in the work of the GWG. 



  The GWG is comprised by 2 chapters: The European chapter (EGWG) and the North American chapter (NAGWG). The board of the European chapter is made up by 5 people. Both chapters act independently in organizing their meetings and many other things, but cooperate in the main goals. 

  The board of the EGWG (in alphabetical order):

               Grioche, Alain (FR)

               Hunter, Nigel (UK)

               Jong, Kees de (NL)

               Köck, Michael (AT, Chair) - chair(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com)

               Winther, Michael (DK)


  The chair of the NAGWG - nagwg(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

               Hartman, Patrick (US)

  Furthermore we have established in the EGWG a number of regional groups, guided by a regional coordinator (RC) each. The role of these coordinators is to express a link between board and hobbyist members. He or she is the first contact in regional affairs like the distribution of surplus or the organisation of meetings. At the moment, the EGWG is subdivided in sixteen regions. Outside of the EGWG exists dditionally a Canadian region. The regional groups (in alphabetical order) and the corresponding RCs are:


  Austria: Michael Köck  - austria(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Baltic Republics: Margarita Hlebnaja - balticrepublics(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Belgium: Ronny Vannerom - belgium(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Czechia and Slovakia: Roman Slaboch - czechia(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  France: Alain Grioche - franceat)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Germany: Torsten Friedrich -germany(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Hungary: Márk Liziczai - hungary(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Italy: Alessio Arbuatti - italy(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Netherlands: Kees de Jong - netherlands(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Poland: Krzystof Kelman - poland(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Portugal: Miguel Andrade - portugal(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Scandinavia: Michael Winther - scandinavia(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Slovenia: Jože Vrbančič - slovenia(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Spain: Eduardo Obis Alberola - spain(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  Switzerland: André Scheiwiller - switzerland(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com

  The United Kingdom: Nigel Hunter - unitedkingdom(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com


  Canada: Markus Nicholls - canada(at)goodeidworkinggroup.com



  The primary objective of the Goodeid Working Group is to conserve extant populations and naturally-occurring forms of all Goodeid species. While group members are not required to maintain and breed these fish personally, a demonstrable interest in their long-term conservation is essential in order to participate. If you can confirm this interest to yourself, you just need to press "Create new account" and follow the steps. After a certain time of appoval, your application will be either accepted or denied. Please notice, that we don't need to give a reason in case the participation is denied. Due to the fact that we are a non-profitable working group it was decided that membership and participation should be voluntary, therefore membership is free. We are however approachable for funding and donations from private individuals, institutions and enterprises interested in assisting us with our work.

  One of our principles is that individual breeders will not be pressured to give fish away, no matter how rare the species or population, with our networked breeding program providing in the future a platform for species exchange on a discretional basis. That said we aim to work towards a model in which the majority of surplus stock is retained within the GWG and made available to its members. Mandatory joining requirements are that participants should contribute breeding experiences, tips and advice while demonstrating the will to collaborate and share knowledge with other Goodeid keepers regardless of experience.



  One objective of the Goodeid Working Group is to unify hobbyists and professionals in the purpose to conserve Goodeids. But why is it preferable to complement the number of hobbyists with zoo professionals, veterinarians, scientists or graduates? What are the capabilities of a public facility like a zoo, a museum or an aquarium? What makes them so important?

  Most of the Goodeid species are endangered in the wild. Though hobbyists are often very ingenious and altruistic in their activities to conserve fish – think of the late Ivan Dibble – these activities are mainly restricted to other aquarists. Besides the most important thing - breeding them in captivity - there are principally two things hobbyists can do to help to conserve Goodeids. One is to donate money to conservation projects or breeding facilities in Mexico. The second is to write articles for specialist magazines or give speeches in hobbyist clubs. Both are very good methods to make Goodeids more common among aquarists and possibilities to point to the situation of Goodeids in the wild. However, the impact of these activities is restricted to other aquarists.

  By contrast, Zoos and Aquaria have the capability to reach a different group and a higher number of people. By displaying Goodeids in the exhibition, by telling the man in the street how difficult it will be for a lot of Goodeid species to survive this decade, public facilities like Zoos and Aquaria have the great chance to give conservation efforts a maximum range.

  One of the most important vehicles to give the people a wake-up call is the exhibition. Showing Goodeids and designing diligent legends are the best way to make this group of fish attractive to the visitor. Information boards and posters give additional possibilities to inform the people locally. A way full of beautiful pictures to create attention had been shown by Günther Schleussner, who published 2010 an article about Goodeids in the Wilhelma magazine, a magazine for visitors of the German Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart.

  Zoos and Aquaria have available long term experiences in conservation work. These experiences and efforts can be inserted in the conservation of Goodeids, too. Some British Zoos for example have running breeding programs for endangered Mexican fish, including species of Goodeids, for a couple of years now. Additionally, they collect money to fund projects in Mexico. Such breeding and conservation programs have always been in the center of public interest.

  Universities and Museums can support the conservation of Goodeids differently. Of course, they have the same possibility to run breeding programs like the University in Morelia does, but they are also able to employ forces in scientific work and research. The results are in all cases very interesting for people working in conservation and can be used directly to answer questions occurring in the disappearance of some fish in the wild or solve breeding problems. In reverse, hobbyists can feed scientists with valuable questions and fish for researches.

  All efforts of sheer voluntary groups - how serious and magnificent their work might be – have always the touch of hobby. Public facilities give the Goodeid Working Group an important possibility to show our seriousness outwards.

  List of aquaria & zoos being member of the Goodeid Working Group, in alphabetical order:

Acuario Inbursa

Acuario Michin

Akvariet, Malmö Museum

Aquarium Berlin

Aquarium - Bolton Museum 

Aquazoo-Löbbecke Museum Düsseldorf   

Bristol Zoo Gardens   

Chester Zoo   

Diergaarde Blijdorp Rotterdam

Fövárosi Állat-és Növénykert

Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo   

Jászberényi Állat- és Növénykert

Kölner Zoo

Nyíregyházi Állatpark - Sóstó Zoo

Palais de la Porte Dorée Aquarium Tropical de Paris 

Parque Zoológico Benito Juárez 

Rīgas Zoodārzs

Tropicarium és Oceanárium Budapest

Tropiquaria Wildlife Park  

Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten Stuttgart   

Zoo Beauval   

Zoological Garden Płock    

Zoological Society of London, London Zoo   

Zoológico Guadalajara

Zoo Ostrava

  List of schools & universities being member of the Goodeid Working Group, in alphabetical order:

Amsterdam International Community School

Érdi Vörösmarty Mihály Gimnázium

Lajos Kossuth Gimnázium

Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León

Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo