The project seeks to conserve rare fishes in the Mekong River basin by developing standard methods for monitoring trends in populations, and by enhancing the capacity of local people to engage in conservation research and sustainable management. The project involves training local people and one early-career researcher in the data collection process, and they will gather data from local fisheries that is essential for developing effective conservation strategies. By participating in the research process, local people living near critical habitats of endangered fishes will gain an increased understanding of the trends of fish populations and will be empowered with tools for sustainable management of aquatic resources. The collection of standardized fish data is needed to establish a baseline for long-term river monitoring, track trends and changes over time, keep a finger on the pulse of ecosystem health, and address the resource management questions most relevant to sustained food security and biodiversity conservation.
Standard sampling methods are being developed and tested in Lao PDR with the objective of future application to complementary projects being implemented throughout the Lower Mekong Basin as part of the Mekong Fish Network. The Mekong Fish Network is an effort to increase collaboration among researchers in various Lower Mekong Basin nations and establish standard methods for monitoring trends in fish populations throughout the transboundary river ecosystem. We seek to support the local institutions that are engaged in the Mekong Fish Network by developing and testing standard sampling methods through this project, and establishing a node for future network activities through partnerships with Women's Groups and Fisher's Associations near the study site. This project seeks to provide essential data on rare and threatened fish populations that will enable effective conservation, to establish methods for collecting these data that can be applied throughout the Mekong Basin, and to produce accessible information products that can be used by local partners to improve conservation strategies.
Project 12254304 location - Laos, Asia