Vientiane, Lao PDR, 28th Aug 2017
In an effort to develop a joint fisheries management plan for the Mekong and Sekong river basins along the border, fishermen in Cambodia and Lao PDR have begun monitoring migratory fish species in both rivers to develop a fisheries database.
Fisheries experts from the two countries reported in late August in Pakse that six fishers each from Cambodia and Lao PDR had been collecting data on the five species in strategic locations along the borders. The five species are those vulnerable to development and overfishing as well as important for riverine communities for their food security and income generation.
Under the monitoring scheme, the designated fishermen caught fish with special gillnets, identified fish species using a fish catalogue, measured fish weight and length, and recorded relevant information on logbooks. These fisheries data were to be shared across the border, analysed together and used for the development of a joint fisheries management plan, according to the experts.
The monitoring is part of the Mekong – Sekong Fisheries Management Project between the two countries under the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project, which promotes regional and bilateral water cooperation through cross-border dialogue. Like four other bilateral projects in the Lower Mekong Basin, the fisheries project aims to address trans-national issues such as exploitative fishing practices and impacts of hydro-development and climate change, and facilitate bilateral multi-sectoral planning and management of water resources.
During a joint workshop of the fisheries project in Pakse, the fisheries experts discussed challenges they faced in the monitoring, including fishers’ lack of understanding in monitoring methods and physical difficulties to set gillnets and access to sampling sites. They also discussed critical issues on how to standardise databases for data entry and analysis by the two countries.
“We had good discussions on the fisheries data collection and sharing. It is the first step for our transboundary collaboration on fisheries management, which will eventually develop a joint fisheries management plan with a management body proposal,” said Watt Botkosal, Deputy Secretary General of the Cambodian National Mekong Committee, at the end of the workshop. “This is very important for us because transboundary collaboration will help improve the livelihoods of our people.”
The fisheries project began in July 2014 with technical support from the Mekong River Commission. The transboundary fisheries team is expected to write up a joint fisheries monitoring report and develop a joint management plan early next year.
Yesterday, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) officials met to prepare for the 3rd Summit of prime ministers on 5 April 2018 in Siem Reap to be hosted by the Kingdom of Cambodia.
China’s Mekong development plan have stirred debate as potentially becoming an environmental and social peril for downstream Mekong countries
In order to amplify what the sister lakes of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap and Thailand’s Songkhla have learnt on community-based lake governance, the two sides agreed today on how and what to document in two upcoming papers they are preparing for policy developme
Representatives from the Mekong River Commission (MRC) made its first visit to Morocco to exchange experience on water resources management. This is the first visit, supported and hosted by Morocco,
Cao Lanh, Viet Nam, 27 October 2017 – Joint research and training, hydro-meteorological data exchange and new bilateral working groups between border provinces of Cambodia and Viet Nam are some of the ideas water specialists from the