[ASC-media] Media release: Celebrating the first World Fish Migration Day in Lao PDR [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Mandy.Gyles at aciar.gov.au Mandy.Gyles at aciar.gov.au
Mon May 26 23:10:24 PDT 2014


Celebrating the first World Fish Migration Day in Lao PDR
Print<http://aciar.gov.au/print/19287>
Date Released: 27/05/2014

An Australian/Lao initiative that built the first fishway to allow Mekong fish species to migrate upstream to spawn was the site of a celebration of the inaugural World Fish Migration Day<http://www.worldfishmigrationday.com> on 24 May 2014.

A fishway (or fish pass) is a channel built around or through a weir to allow fish to complete upstream migrations. The fishway in Borikhamxay Province in Lao PDR allows fish to move between the Mekong River and the Pak Peung wetlands providing them with access to vital spawning and nursery habitat, which has been limited by irrigation infrastructure since the 1970's.

The fishway, the first of its kind in Lao PDR, is the result of eight years of targeted research, backed by AUD$2.0 million (Kip 16 billion) of funding from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research<http://aciar.gov.au> (ACIAR), involving partners from Australia and Laos. The fishway, which cost AUD$130,000 to construct, was completed using local labour and designs progressed by an Australian and Lao design team. Construction management was performed by the National University of Laos, while district and provincial liaison was progressed by the Lao Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre.

To mark the occasion ACIAR released a new film <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y51OEStLxPA&feature=youtube_gdata_player> about the work Australian and Lao fisheries researchers are doing together on fishway technology. Australian research partners are from the Department of Primary Industries NSW, Charles Sturt University and Australasian Fish Passage Services. Researcher Dr Lee Baumgartner says that while they are working to sustain fisheries in Lao PDR, in Australia the focus is on recovering the fish that have declined. "So we can learn from each other and it's a win-win," he said.

World Fish Migration Day was established to help improve understanding of the importance of open rivers and fish migration, with more than 250 events being held around the world.

More information:

ACIAR fact sheet<http://aciar.gov.au/publication/FS017> about fishway research


Mandy Gyles
Public Affairs Officer
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
38 Thynne St, Bruce, ACT, 2617 | GPO Box 1571, Canberra, ACT 2601
P  02 6217 0500
M  0408 332 374
W  aciar.gov.au<http://aciar.gov.au/>

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