Cambodia-Lao transboundary fisheries teams agree on fish monitoring methods

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 26th May 2016

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 26 May 2016 – Fisheries specialists from Cambodia and Lao PDR adopted the MRC’s standard sampling procedures for their planned joint transboundary fisheries monitoring programme under the Mekong – Sekong Transboundary Fisheries Management Project.

TB fish monitoring workshop

The MRC’s fish abundance and diversity monitoring programme (FADM) will be used to monitor fisher’s catch of selected whitefish species in the Mekong River and Sekong River.

The decision came as the two teams convened today at the MRC Secretariat in Phnom Penh, following a two-day meeting held early in May in Pakse, Lao PDR, where the two sides identified eight vulnerable migratory whitefish species to be monitored in their joint project.

The project is one of the five bilateral transboundary projects funded by the World Bank and technically supported by the MRC Secretariat. Lao PDR and Cambodia have selected four bordering provinces along the two rivers – Mekong and Sekong – to identify transboundary issues, design a coordination mechanism to manage common resources and formulate a joint management plan to address those issues.

At the meeting the two countries also discussed and agreed to use standard panel gillnets to monitor the fisheries for calibration and validation purposes. The two sides further discussed in detail the MRC’s standard sampling procedures for the FADM, including an existing logbook system, and proposed adding new parameters to the joint monitoring programme. To reflect the changes in the proposed parameters, they agreed that the FADM’s database would need to be updated as well.

From June 2016, the two teams will begin implementing monitoring activities in their respective countries. The implementation will include, among others, fishermen selection and training, documentation of the participating fishermen and fishing gear profiles, the mapping of monitoring habitats and preparation of standard panel gillnets.




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