Trading-off fish biodiversity, food security, and hydropower in the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River Basin, site of the biggest inland fishery in the world, is undergoing massive hydropower development. Planned dams will block critical fish migration routes between the river's downstream floodplains and upstream tributaries. Here we estimate fish biomass and biodiversity losses in numerous damming scenarios using a simple ecological model of fish migration. Our framework allows detailing trade-offs between dam locations, power production, and impacts on fish resources.

Redistribution of water use and benefits among hydropower affected communities in Lao PDR

In this paper, we assess how resettlement and changes in water access have altered livelihoods of local communities upstream of the Theun Hinboun Expansion Project in Lao PDR. Based on household surveys conducted both before and after resettlement, we estimate changes in water use and benefits among households of 4 resettled villages.

Functional aquatic ecosystems, inland fisheries and the Millennium Development Goals

Freshwater allocation in an environment of increasing demand and declining quality and availability is a major societal challenge. While biodiversity and the needs of local communities are often in congruence, the over-riding necessity of meeting national demands for power, food and, increasingly, mitigation of the hydrological effects of climate change, often supersedes these.

Songs of the Doomed: The continuing neglect of capture fisheries in hydropower development in the Mekong

Since early 2007 there has been a repid acceleration in hydropower development in the Mekong Basin. The consequence of this development on fisheries in the area has been downnplayed. Aim of this chapter Discussion reverts to a 'conventional wisdom' that the captured fisheries are doomed. Fisheries are being downplayed. The aim of this chapter is to place this 'conventional wisdom' of doom under closer critical scrutiny.

How much of the Mekong fish catch is at risk from mainstream dam development?

In the absence of reliable data on the species composition of the catch in the Lower Mekong Basin, the authors look at three approaches to estimate the size of the region’s migratory fish resources.The article, based on three different studies, concludes that 700,000 tonnes to 1.6 million tonnes of migratory fish are at risk. These possible losses correspond to respectively five times the size of the fishery sector in Finland and the whole fishery sector in Denmark.

Fisheries potential of village dams in northern Ghana.

Results of a twelve-month assessment of the fisheries and aquaculture potential of small waterbodies (SWBs) in the West Gonja District of Northern Ghana are presented. The primary objectives of the project were to established whether the fisheries within the reservoir basins in the West Gonja and Nanumba Districts (Northern Region) could be enhanced and aquaculture associated with the SWBs could be viable.

Fisheries, nutrition and regional development pathways: reasserting food rights

As hydropower developments are accelerated, particularly along the the Mekong mainstream, debates are looming over how to address the loss of abundant fisheries that are so important to local livelihoods.The authors discuss what is at stake and what might be lost by considering how fisheries contribute to development that meets the needs of the people of Mekong. They emphasise the importance of food sovereignty as a local issue in the discourse about trade-offs in water decision-making.

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