Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fish lane built at Pursat dam

Fish lane built at Pursat dam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The concrete ladder was constructed to provide a route for more than 100 fish species to swim past a four-metre-high barrier. MRC

Fish lane built at Pursat dam

A fish passage has been installed at Kbal Hong Dam in the Pursat River to aid the migration of 100 fish species, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the MRC said the livelihoods of many fishing villages have been hit due to river structures at Kbal Hong Dam.

People in Dun Ei village have been making a living through fishing along the Pursat River for generations, but in recent years river structures, such as dams and dykes, have been preventing fish from migrating upstream to their breeding grounds.

“For most of the year, fish have become scarce along the Pursat River, forcing villagers to leave their homes in search of work. Those left behind face difficult lives and an uncertain future,” the MRC said.

To address the problem, the MRC and the government partnered with the US Department of Interior and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to install a fish passage.

The concrete ladder was constructed at Kbal Hong Dam in the Pursat River, a main tributary of Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest lake, to provide a route for more than 100 fish species to swim past the four-metre-high barrier, reopening around 100km of the river.

Horm Sovon, a 49-year-old fisherman in Dun Ei village, said: “Before, I could only catch fish three months per year. Now I am catching less fish than before, but there are fish to catch every day.

“I have a stable income now, and I am happy that other villagers both upstream and downstream are also able to catch fish.”

The MRC said the situation faced by the villagers in Dun Ei is typical of a wider problem affecting communities across the Mekong River Basin.

In the Lower Mekong Basin, fish catches are estimated at 2.3 million tonnes as the sector supports the livelihoods of more than 60 million people.

However, the fisheries sector is threatened by more and more dams, dykes, weirs, and other water structures that have been built to store water for irrigation.

“The Kbal Hong fish passage is a unique demonstration site that can be replicated elsewhere in the country or in the region,” deputy director of the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute Tob Chann Aun said.

MRC secretariat CEO An Pich Hatda said the project highlights the importance of such work.

“This successful case implies that the construction of fish passages in the basin and some of its tributaries is essential.”

“Improving the management of fish will enhance the resilience of the entire ecosystem, benefit local economies and sustain local community livelihoods,” he said.


  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.