Vientiane Times, May 12, 2014
Officials and technical staff of the livestock and fisheries sector in central and target provinces gathered in Vientiane last week to consult on a survey on the status and trends in aquaculture in Laos.
The meeting was chaired by the department’s Director General, Dr Bounthong Saphakdy along with relevant department heads from Vientiane capital, Vientiane, Oudomxay, Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces.
The meeting reviewed the status and trends of aquaculture development and to consult on the aquaculture survey in the six target provinces.
This survey is being implemented from now until October with the results of the survey on fisheries to be presented in December.
The survey results will be used for improving the national strategy for fisheries management and development and contribute to the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Basin Development Strategy and Action Plan.
The survey of the status and trends on Aquaculture in Laos to monitor indicators of Mekong fisheries and aquaculture (yield and value) is an MRC core activity since the MRC Fisheries Programme has for many years supported this activity; in particular monitoring activities in capture fisheries to answer many basic questions regarding the issue.
These questions include the health of fisheries, effects of over fishing, impacts and potential for water management and the potential for stock enhancement and contribution to sustainable livelihoods among others.
For the aquaculture sector yield and value are the main indicators for trends analysis for the state of basin report and basin wide aquaculture management strategy.
“After the department receives all the effective data from these six provinces, we plan to continue in other provinces”, Fisheries Division Director, Mr Sommano Phounsavath said.
Survey results are also important to fisheries sector development for fish meat supply in Laos, he said.
“Through this implementation, we will know exactly the numbers of fish and breeders for development,” he added.
In the past, the department used an area estimation method without surveys and proper data collection in the field due to a lack of funding and limited staff.
However, according to initial reports from the six provinces, the numbers of fish and breeders in Laos are increasing.
Currently, producers can supply about 18-20kg of fish per capita a year and the department plans to promote breeding for domestic supply to about 24-30 kg of fish per capita by 2020.
The meeting was organized by the Department of Livestock and Fisheries with support from the MRC Fisheries Programme.