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A Preliminary Assessment of Mekong Fishery Conservation Zones in the Siphandone Area of Southern Lao PDR, and Recommendations for Further Evaluation a  

A Preliminary Assessment of Mekong Fishery Conservation Zones in the Siphandone Area of Southern Lao PDR, and Recommendations for Further Evaluation a

See attached file for details The area known as Siphandone in the Lao PDR stretches over approximately 60 km of the Mekong mainstream in the very southern most part of the country, and is adjacent to the border with Cambodia. Numerous mainstream islands are found throughout this region and of the 130 village communities found there, many have established themselves on the larger islands. The largest administrative district in Siphandone is Muang Khong and is home to just over 70,000 people. The main source of income for the Siphandone villagers is from rice farming and capture fisheries., The area supports some of the most productive fisheries in the Lao PDR, which are targeted for both subsistence and semi-commercial purposes. An export trade exists with Thailand for some of the more valuable fish species, and several of the larger riparian towns in the Lao PDR rely on Siphandone to supply fish and fishery products upcountry. Fish bio-diversity is high in the area, and approximately 200 species are targeted by the riparian population using a wide range of fishing gears. Although some form of fishing activity takes place in most areas all year round, it is often during the periods of annual fish migration that fishing effort intensifies and returns are greatest. , Within the last decade there have been an ever-increasing number of anecdotal reports from local people suggesting a decline in available aquatic resources in the Siphandone area, including fisheries. The reasons for these reported declines are almost certainly complex, perhaps interrelated and as yet poorly understood. It should be noted that reports of a decline in aquatic resources are not confined to the Siphandone area of the Lao PDR only., The Government of the Lao PDR has expressed considerable concern over the reports of a decline in aquatic resources and has sought ways to halt, and preferably reverse these trends. In I993, under an endorsed decree, the Lao Government began the process of decentralizing responsibility for managing its nationwide natural resources. Under the decree, local administrative authorities have been encouraged and empowered to play a major role in managing their own local natural resources within a co-management framework. The objective of this was to promote the long-term sustainable use of the natural resource in question. Pomeroy and Williams (1994) define co-management as the sharing of responsibility and authority between the government and local fishers / community to manage a fishery or other natural resource., In 1993, the Lao Community Fisheries and Dolphin Protection Project (LCFDPP) began working in Khong District, Champassack Province, Lao PDR to promote the sustainable use of aquatic resources within a broadly defined area (Baird et al, 1998). One of the specific objectives of the project was to establish village-level Fishery Conservation Zones (FCZs) that could be managed at a local level, and that would be of direct benefit to the individual villages concerned. It was further anticipated that the cumulative effects resulting from the establishment of individual FCZs would be beneficial to the sustainable use of aquatic resources in the area in general. By July 1997, the LCFDP Project had established 59 FCZs in a total of 54 separate villages using a participatory approach between villagers and the Project. , --------------------,

Published by: Living Aquatic Resources Research Center (LARReC), Data and Information Unit -
Uploaded on: Feb 2006
File size: 457 KB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Animal Husbandry And Fishery , Conservation , Development Concepts/Approaches , Natural Resources Management , Water Resources
Category: Environment

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