Temporal Dynamics of Fish Assemblages as a Reflection of Policy Shift from Fishing Concession to Co-Management in One of the World’s Largest Tropical Flood Pulse Fisheries

This paper investigated the temporal changes in fish catch weight and fish assemblage structure for the period 1995–2000 before fishing lot abolishment (BLA) and for the period 2012–2015 after the removal of all fishing lots (after lot abolishment-ALA) using time-series fish catch data recorded from the Tonle Sap Lake (TSL), one of the world largest inland fisheries. The authors found (i) mean catch trends vary seasonally, with stable catch trends during the BLA and decreasing catch trends during the ALA and (ii) significant shifts in fish assemblage composition, notably a shift from large-bodied, migratory, and/or predatory species during the BLA toward more short-distance migratory and/or floodplain, small-bodied species during the ALA. Fishing lot abolishment coincided with substantial changes to floodplain habitats and increases in fishing pressure, threatening TSL fish stocks. Flow alterations caused by dams and climate change may exacerbate the problem.

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Chan, B., P.B. Ngor, Z.S. Hogan, N. So, S. Brosse, and S. Lek.

Publication Date

23 October 2020

Publication Name



fishing lot abolishment, private property regime, fisheries policy reform, overfishing, indiscriminate fishing, community fisheries, co-management, common property regime, Tonle Sap Lake