A project on sustainable exploitation of fish and other aquatic animals in Siphandone area is expected to help strengthen the abundance of aquatic animals and ecosystem in southern Laos province Champassak.
This project which is in its second phase is implemented by WWF-Laos in cooperation with the Champassak Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry. It focuses on establishing sanctuaries for aquatic animals in Siphandone area to promote the protection and breeding of aquatic animals in the Mekong.
Once a sanctuary is established, it will be used by fish for breeding and then their population can be spreading to other areas. As a result people in those areas will be able to catch fish sustainably, said Amphone Phommachack, coordinator of World Wide Fund for Nature to Laos (WWF-Laos) for southern provinces.
Scheduled for 2017-2019, the project phase 2 involves 20 target villages in Khong and Mounlapamok districts. Seven sanctuaries have been established in seven villages since 2017, while more than 30 sanctuaries were established in 30 villages between 2012 and 2015.
The benefits from the project for local communities would be that they will be able to catch fish and other aquatic animals sustainably in Siphandone areas; people will be more aware of law on fisheries, sustainable fish management and catch, and realize protected aquatic animals; and that they will have sustainable source of incomes as fish in the sanctuaries can be fished when necessary, said Ms Amphone.
The project also helps local people improve their livelihoods providing them with training on animal farming.
Phase II will work towards increasing and improving the stock of aquatic resources through supporting effective patrolling of the Mekong River, setting up Fish Conservation Zones (FCZ) and Fisheries Management Committees (FMC), raising awareness of Lao fishery legislations, and developing alternative sources of livelihoods including aquaculture, said Country Director of WWF-Laos Somphone Bouasavanh.
Source: Lao News Agency