Heeding calls for more study of the Mekong, Cambodia and Laos have launched a project to monitor transboundary fisheries resources.
On Friday, experts from the government-run Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute launched the implementation phase of the project. Over the next three years, the World Bank-funded program will train fisherman along the Cambodian-Lao border to monitor the river for changes, including fish migration patterns and water quality.
“The people are very concerned about the fluctuations of water caused by the dams that they’re seeing, but they don’t really know what it means or what causes it,” said Chheng Phen, deputy director at the institute.
Activists say that two dams under way in Laos, as well as dozens of other proposed developments, could fundamentally alter fishing resources.
Last month, a transboundary prognosis on Laos’s Don Sahong Dam by several independent experts concluded that not enough scientific studies had been conducted to ensure the viability of the project.