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Nation’s fish stocks get huge boost on Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Conservation Day

Around 50 million fish fingerlings will be released into rivers and lakes across the country to sustain and replenish fish stocks and maintain the equilibrium of ecosystems.
Some 250,000 fish were released during an official event held at Namxuang Lake in Vientiane’s Naxaithong district on Saturday to mark National Day for Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Conservation (July 13).
Most of the fish were tilapia and perch, as well as carp and other native species.
The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo, government spokesman Professor Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher, and other senior officials.

The boost to fish stocks should help to increase Laos’ fish population while further creating awareness and understanding among children and the general public about the importance of aquatic animals and wildlife, and encourage people to conserve and protect these resources.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr Thongphath Vongmany highlighted the significance of National Day for Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Conservation and urged everyone to join forces to bolster fish resources.
“In 2015, we added 35 million fish into waterways. This figure increased to 40 million in 2016, to 43 million in 2017, and to 45 million in 2018,” he said.
“We have also established more than 1,000 fish conservation zones, covering an area of 60,800 hectares.”
Mr Thongphath said Laos works in cooperation with friendly countries and international organisations to protect fish and animals that are endangered.
In recent decades, Laos has seen a depletion of aquatic life due to various factors such as destructive fishing methods, pollution, and the country’s rising population.
The government is concerned after witnessing many people catching fish and frogs during the breeding season, even though the law forbids this.   
According to a 2018 report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Laos has more than 500 kinds of native fish and is home to rare and endangered wildlife species found nowhere else in the world.
The government has enacted policies and laws on natural resource management and aquatic animal and wildlife protection.
Aquatic animals and wildlife are essential for Laos’ socio-economic development and the maintenance of natural ecosystems. The government says it is right for Lao people to sustainably use natural resources in production and everyday living to improve their quality of life. Fish is the main source of food and protein for Lao people.
Currently Laos has 32 fishery centres and fish breeding stations operated by the government and more than 50 centres belonging to private companies.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update July 15, 2019)

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