Govt looks to ease Mekong dam impacts

Bangkok Post –

The Department of Fisheries will roll out a number of measures to help cushion the impacts of dam construction in the upper reaches of the Mekong River on Thai fishermen.

Department chief, Adisorn Promthep, said the measures will entail further diplomatic coordination with Laos — which hosts most of the dams — and stepping up existing conservation efforts.

“We need to discuss the urgent need to protect and preserve freshwater resources with Laos, as we have seen the impacts [of dam construction] first-hand, and we need to do something to lessen the impacts,” said Mr Adisorn at a press conference following a forum on the future of fisheries in the Mekong River yesterday.

Mr Adisorn said that the department is seeking the cooperation of Lao fisheries officials to conserve freshwater fish and other aquatic species in the Mekong River. “We haven’t been able to do so directly,” he said.

“This is why we need the Mekong River Commission [MRC] to initiate the dialogue.”

The MRC is the only inter-governmental organisation that works directly with the governments of countries in the Mekong River basin to sustainably manage the shared water resource.