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Fish Biodiversity and Fisheries between Chiang Saen and Luang Prabang


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This presentation was delivered by Eric Baran, Tuantong Jutagate and Kithya Ouch at the Lancang – Mekong Environmental Study Workshop that took place at the 2016 Greater Mekong Forum on Water, Food and Energy.
The presentation describes the status of fish biodiversity and fisheries between Chiang Saen and Luang Prabang.

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Fish Biodiversity and Fisheries between Chiang Saen and Luang Prabang

  1. 1. FISH BIODIVERSITY AND FISHERIES BETWEEN CHIANG SAEN AND LUANG PRABANG Eric BARAN, Tuantong JUTAGATE, Natasha SERRAO 2016 Greater Mekong Forum, Bangkok, 9-11 November 2016
  2. 2. Target area: Mekong River mainstream between the Golden Triangle and Nam Chi Nam Mun
  3. 3. Due to fish migrations, impacts in the mainstream might extend to fish within adjacent sub-basins 3 Nam Tha Nam Mae Kham Nam Mae Kok Nam Mae Ing Nam Ngeun Nam Khan Nam Suong Nam Ou
  4. 4. Main sources of information (i): Mainstream:  MRC Mekong Fish Database 2003  Meynell P.-J. 2003 Scoping study for biodiversity assessment of the Mekong River in northern Laos and Thailand,  Dubeau, P. (ed.) 2004 Follow-up survey for biodiversity assessment of the Mekong River in Northern Lao PDR, IUCN Water and Nature Initiative and Mekong Wetlands Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use Programme, Bangkok, Thailand. 60 pp. FISH BIODIVERSITY
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. Main sources of information (ii): Sub-basins:  MRC Mekong Fish Database 2003  Bin Kang, Daming He, Perrett L., Hongyuan Wang, Wenxian Hu; Weide Deng, Yunfei Wu 2009 Fish and fisheries in the Upper Mekong: current assessment of the fish community, threats and conservation. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 19:465–480.  Warren T.J., Thavone Phommavong 2010. Nam Ou cascade environment impact assessment: fisheries and aquatic resources (F&AR) component. Draft report (V2) for Earth System Lao (ESL) for submission to Sinohydro Corporation Ltd. 103 pp.  Kottelat M. 2009. Fishes of the upper Nam Ou drainage in Laos. WWF, Community Fisheries: supporting food security and aquatic biodiversity (ComFish Project), Vientiane, Lao PDR. 27 pp.
  7. 7. 7 Taxonomic update: / Tools / Match names
  8. 8. 8 Fish species richness Cyprinidae, 88 Cobitidae, 16Pangasiidae, 14 Bagridae, 11 Siluridae, 11 Osphronemidae, 7 Channidae, 5 Families (31) with <5 species, 56 208 fish species are found within the study area These 208 species are comprised of 38 families, of which minnows/carps, loaches and catfishes have the highest diversity Loaches Catfishes Minnows and Carps
  9. 9. 0 50 100 150 200 NumberofSpecies9 The 208 species are comprised of 157 indigenous, 7 endemic, and 7 introduced species. Mekong endemics make up 3.4% of the total species but none of the endemic species is specific to the study side. 194 7 7
  10. 10. 10 Cyprinidae (minnows, carps, barbs) Largest family in the Mekong with 25% of the fish species. Account for most of the fisheries yield in the Mekong Basin especially during their seasonal migrations and are very important for aquaculture. Many are popular and economically valuable. Most species are generalists; feed on a mixture of invertebrates, organic debris and plants. 42%
  11. 11. 11 Cobitidae (loaches) Small fish; at least 27 species from the Mekong. Have spines under the eyes that allow them to wedge themselves in rock crevices. Loaches are also capable of burying themselves very quickly in sand or gravel. Some loaches are highly migratory and seasonally important in local fisheries. 8%
  12. 12. 12 7% Pangasiidae (pangas catfishes) Medium to large fish; 250 cm for the Mekong giant catfish. Many pangas undertake long migrations in the Mekong mainstream They are a popular foodfish, and are very important in both the capture fisheries and aquaculture in the Lower and Middle Mekong Basin. Their feeding habits are very variable depending on species, includes; fruits, invertebrates, fish, algae
  13. 13. 13 5% Bagridae (bagrid catfishes) Small to medium sized widely distributed fishes Some of the larger species are migratory Very important food fishes throughout the Mekong Basin Feed mainly on benthic invertebrates.
  14. 14. 14 5% Siluridae (sheat catfishes) Medium to large sized fishes; found throughout the Mekong Highly important in the Mekong fisheries and at least one species (Wallago attu) is known to be an excellent gamefish. Some sheatfishes are pelagic, and they feed on invertebrates and fishes.
  15. 15. 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 % of sp in Mekong % of sp in study zone Within the Mekong, the section studied is specific by its diversity in Cyprinids, loaches and catfishes
  16. 16. 19 There are very few specific studies of fisheries between the Golden Triangle and Luang Prabang FISHERIES Capture fisheries in the mainstream from China to Chiang Saen The upper Mekong Basin in China produces around 25,000 tonnes a year (Xie and Li 2003). This low production is explained by the fact that the river flows in deep gorges, with a subsequent low productivity (no floodplains) and that population density along banks is very low. C Capture fisheries in this zone employed about 15,000 persons in 2002
  17. 17. 20 Capture fisheries in the mainstream between Chiang Saen and Vientiane In 2010 fishing was not officially considered as a significant activity. People on the Mekong river banks do fish for household consumption, but this goes unrecorded in district or provincial level statistics and not reflected in social development plans. MRC study of fish consumption and catch (Sjorslev et al. 2000) → total fish catch of 10,000 to 14,000 tonnes per in Luangprabang Province MRC SEA 2010: Population x estimated annual consumption → 29,000 tonnes consumed (70%) + 20% sold + 10% in kind. → 41,000 tonnes/year Barlow et al. (2008) → 60,000 tonnes/year Conclusion: annual yield between 40,000 and 60,000 tonnes/year
  18. 18. 21 In general, fishery activities from Xieng Kok to Huay Xai is less prevalent than from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, due to the scarcity of villages in this section Also, strong water currents occurring in the upper part of Mekong deter fishing. In this sub-section, only a few people fish in the Mekong River, while the majority fish in smaller tributaries, backswamps and ponds where fish are easier to catch. The main reason why the Mekong is not widely fished is that villagers cannot afford the upfront investment to acquire the necessary gear for fishing in the main river.
  19. 19. Example Key Amphibians (S. Phimmachak & B. Stuart) Quasipaa sp. Ophryophryne cf. microstoma Leptolalax minimus Leptobrachium smithi Amolops cremnobatus Rhacophorus kio
  20. 20. Example Key Reptiles (S. Phimmachak & B. Stuart) Tropidophorus laotus Cyrtodactylus interdigitalis Physignathus cocincinus Python reticulatus Lycodon laoensis Opisthotropis durandi
  21. 21. 24 Thanks for your attention