Fishery management body planned for Cambodia and Laos

Khmer Times

Cambodia and Laos have agreed to set up a joint fisheries management body by the end of 2018 and reaffirmed their commitment to improved fisheries management in border provinces. Fisheries authorities from both countries and officials from the respective national Mekong committees (NMCs) recently went on an exchange visit to the Mekong and Sekong rivers, connecting Champasak and Attapeu provinces of Laos with Stung Treng and Kratie provinces of Cambodia.  The trip was organized by the joint Mekong River Committee’s (MRC’s)Mekong and Sekong Rivers Fisheries Management Project.

The parties visited a fish conservation zone in Attapeu and a fisheries community in Stung Treng where they learned from each other on how communities manage their fisheries.  They also checked on trans-boundary fisheries issues in the Mekong and Sekong rivers for a comprehensive report as a basis of establishing a joint management plan.  “We have the same problems and concerns in managing our fisheries resources that are being threatened by human activities and infrastructure development,” said deputy secretary-general of the Cambodia NMC Watt Botkosal.  “Promoting closer cooperation is crucial for the two countries to effectively address those issues.”

Through this project, fisheries specialists from the two countries have identified significant issues that they can jointly address, including unsustainable fishing practices, lack of enforcement of fisheries regulations and habitat degradation due to excessive land use change. They have also selected five whitefish species that migrate long distances and are commercially important for monitoring and managing at the trans-boundary level.

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