250,000 fish fingerlings released into vast Nong Kham Sen wetland

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry held today a fish release activity on the Nong Kham Sen wetland, Vientiane to celebrate the National Aquatic and Wildlife Day – July 13.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bounkhuang Khambounheuang, Vice Mayor of Vientiane Phoukhong Bannavong, Director of the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department Laxay Nouanthasing and representative of relevant authorities attended the fish release event.

Nong Kham Sen wetland is a 86-ha reservoir located 20 km east of Vientiane.

“Particularly in the dry season,” Chairman of the Nong Kham Sen Wetland Management Committee Ounkeng Phommasene said, “1,779 households from the six villages around the wetland catch fish and collect vegetables for their domestic consumption in this area. This has motivated the majority of local people to protect the biodiversity of this wetland for future generations.”

Nong Kham Sen’s future is not yet secure due to overfishing, the pumping of groundwater for agriculture and the seepage of sewerage. All of which damage its conservation values.

The biodiversity values of Nong Kham Sen have been recognised by the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and other international agencies, who have encouraged the surrounding villages to develop their own management regulations with the support of local officials and are currently preparing to construct a Green Education Centre with walking and cycle trails which will benefit both visitors and local residents.

In his speech, Director of the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department Laxay Nouanthasing acknowledged the past efforts made by the Vientiane Agriculture and Forestry Department in conserving aquatic resources.

He noted, “between 1994 and 2020, over 30 million fingerlings were released across the municipality, and that another two million would be released this year.”

Mr Laxay thanked government authorities from all sectors as well as the local community for their participation in these activities, as well as the technical support of Agriculture and Forestry Consultants (AFDC) which is facilitating project activities on behalf of WWF.

Following the speeches, the attendees led by Mr Bounkouang released 250,000 fish fingerlings into the wetland. As the last fish frolicked into the weeds, the blessings of the monks from the Sithan Tai Forest Temple echoed over the still waters, wishing all guests and fish a safe journey in future.

Source: Lao News Agency