Mekong River Commission

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Fisheries Research and Development in the Mekong Region
Volume 14, No.3, December 2008


In this issue, our biggest ever, we look at how fisheries emerged as a key issue at a regional conference on hydropower development convened by the MRC in Vientiane in September. We also review a meeting of independent experts that immediately preceded the conference to examine the barrier impacts of dams on fish migration in the Mekong. The group of 17 experts from various disciplines found that mainstream dams in the Lower Mekong Basin would adversely affect the migratory fish, especially in the lower part of the basin where fish production is highest. A separate article looks at three different approaches to estimating the size of migratory fish resources in the lower basin. Another article discusses the possible impact of mainstream dams on the Mekong giant catfish, one of the region's flagship species.

We also feature the final article in our three-part series on the hydrology of the Mekong system which examines the magnitude of flooding in the Lower Mekong Basin and whether extreme floods are becoming more common. Among recent developments in member countries, we look at Cambodia's move to establish the Tonle Sap Basin Authority and the promotion of gender issues in Thailand, where the Department of Fisheries was awarded earlier this year as an outstanding government agency in the field.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.






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