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.

The importance of the fish resource in the Mekong River and examples of best practices

The Mekong is an exceptional river in many ways. In terms of fish biodiversity, it is the world’s second richest river after the Amazon (www.fishbase. org). With 6 to 18% of the global freshwater fish catch, it is also home to the largest freshwater fisheries in the world. The productive Mekong fisheries are essential to the food security of the 60 million people of the Lower Mekong Basin. Fish contributes 81% of the population’s protein intake in Cambodia and 48% in Laos. Mekong inland fisheries also provide employment to 1.6 of the 14 million Cambodians.

Effects of reservoirs on River Nile fisheries

The catch-effort relationship of the River Nile is Complicated by such factors as changes in water level and hydrology as well as spawning movements of the fish, which result in uneven distribution of the fish and fishing. The effects ofdam construction on the ecology of the fish fauna are considered, with particular reference to the effects of the Faraskour dam on the river fishery.

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.

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.

Fifty years of reservoir fisheries in Mettur Dam, India: some lessons

The paper outlines briefly the history of the fishery in a dam reservoir in India. The reservoir was very productive in its early years, with support from a seed farm, ice plant, cold storage and regulated entry of fishery. However, once entry restrictions were relaxed and closed fishing seasons no longer enforced, the yield of fish from the reservoir declined.

Diagnostic study of the Volta Basin fisheries: Part 2 Livelihoods and poverty analysis, current trends and projections

The Basin Focal Project for the Volta (BFP-Volta) is a research project funded by the Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF). Its aim is to provide an in-depth analysis of issues related to water in the Volta Basin through three main thematic issues: water-poverty, water availability/use and water productivity. The overall objective of the BFP-Volta is to contribute to the main goal of the CPWF, that is, to alleviate poverty through better management of water in order to enhance agricultural productivity and environment conservation.

Climate change and fisheries: vulnerability and adaptation in Cambodia

Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change on fisheries, which supply livelihoods for millions and up to 80% of all animal protein in the diet. Most fisheries are highly variable by nature and subject to environmental change, including climate change. Hydropower dam construction, intensified fishing pressure and macroeconomic drivers are likely to affect Cambodian fisheries more immediately and visibly than climate change.

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