The Mekong Fish Network was recently represented by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Global Conference on Inland Fisheries held at the FAO Headquarters in Rome from 26-28 January. This conference was the first of its kind to focus at a global level on issues of food security, economic, and ecological issues related to inland/freshwater fisheries. Themes of the conference addressed a number of questions, including:
- What role does biological assessment play in science-based fisheries management, and how can it be improved?
- What are the economic and societal values of inland fisheries?
- What are the drivers and synergies with other resource sectors?
- How do we ensure inland fisheries are fully integrated into decision frameworks?
- What will be the role of inland fisheries in the future?
Representatives from more than 40 countries attended the meeting, and included scientists, policy makers, international development workers, and fishers themselves. Outcomes of the conference will eventually be released in the form of full conference proceedings, several journal articles synthesizing conference discussions, and an FAO guidance document.
MFN and USGS representative John Beeman presented a poster at the conference describing the background of the Mekong Fish Network and information about the MFN Data Bank. The poster featured preliminary results from two years of fisheries monitoring surveys conducted in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam by researchers at Can Tho University. USGS and Can Tho University researchers are currently collaborating to make this data available on the MFN Databank. Click here to download a high-resolution version of the poster.