Joint fish monitoring sites in the Mekong Sekong river basins

Cambodian-Lao Fishers Jointly Monitor Migratory Fish in the Border Provinces

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. 

 

Latest News

Japan Re-affirms its Support for Mekong Irrigation Facilities Improvement

The government of Japan has re-affirmed its support to the Mekong River Commission in continuing activities under a project to improve irrigation facilities across the lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, MRC CEO Pham Tuan P

Cambodia, Lao PDR to formalise a new bilateral cooperation framework on fisheries management

In order to cement the four-year-long bilateral efforts to address cross-border fisheries issues along the Cambodia-Laos border, the two countries have agreed to formalise a bilateral fisheries management body that would oversee collaborative activities t

MRC, JICA Launch a Joint Study on Mekong Forest Conservation for Better Basin Management

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have launched a joint study on forest conservation and river basin management in the lower Mekong basin as part of their effort to better manage and conserve the environme

Lao-Thai wetland management project ends with new community-based management plans

Government officials and community representatives from Laos’ Xe Bang Hieng and Thailand’s Nam Kam river basins cerebrated today the conclusion of a five-year bilateral wetland management project, which has improved community-based management practices in

Lao PDR Submits Notification on the Pak Lay Hydropower Project to MRC for Prior Consultation

The Mekong River Commission Secretariat has received an official notification from the Lao Government that it will undertake the formal process of prior consultation on its Pak Lay hydropower project in the Pak Lay area in the Lao PDR’s northern province


Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Le Thi Huong Lien: huonglien@mrcmekong.org or
mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here