Aquatic Life Faces Extinction As Upstream Dams Leave Mekong River Dry

Eleven –

They said that the ongoing loss of biodiversity in the Mekong Basin is posing a major threat to food security and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of people in the region.

Narit Art-harn, a representative of locals in Bueng Kan’s Bung Khla district, revealed that the level of the Mekong this week was lower than the lowest during the dry season, even though mid-July is normally the rainy season and the river should be full and even overflowing.

“We are facing an extraordinary situation, because instead of the seasonal floods that we usually face this time of year, we are now encountering a severe drought, which is bad for both the people and the ecosystem,” Narit said.

He said that even though fishermen in Bueng Kan were able to catch more fish due to the very low level of water, many of the fish they caught have bellies full of eggs, because this is the breeding season for many of the species in the Mekong.

Hence, he said, he is deeply concerned that this might be the last season for the fishermen to get an abundant catch because these fish might soon be extinct.

“The extremely low level of water is killing these fish, because it is preventing them from entering tributaries to lay eggs in flooded forests and swamps, which means an entire generation of fish will vanish,” he emphasised.

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