Photo: Lao Women's Union
Vientiane, July 13, 2019 – On July 13, UN Resident Coordinator Sara Sekkenes joined the Lao officials in marking the National Day for Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Conservation at Namxuang Lake in Vientiane’s Naxaithong district.
Deputy Prime Minister Dr Sonexay Siphandone, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Lien Thikeo, government spokesman Professor Dr Chaleun Yiapaoher, and other senior officials attended the event which saw around 250 000 fish released in the lake with 50 million more to go in 2019 as a part of a continued effort to sustain the national fish stocks and aquatic ecosystems. The aim of the initiative is to raise public awareness of the importance of aquatic resources and encourage people to conserve and protect them. The Lao waters are home to more than 500 kinds of native fish and remain a vital source of food for the local people.
“Sustainability of local water ecosystems proves extremely important for the development of the Lao livelihoods,” UN Resident Coordinator Sara Sekkenes said.
Throughout the last years, the number of fish released in the national waters has been growing. This comes as a response to a decrease in fish stocks due to hazardous fishing practices, pollution, and overpopulation.
“In 2015, we added 35 million fish into waterways. This figure increased to 40 million in 2016, to 43 million in 2017, and to 45 million in 2018,” Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr Thongphath Vongmany highlighted.
Laos protects its aquatic ecosystems in cooperation with foreign countries and international organisations. At the same time, this effort conveys a strong call for action to the Lao people, urging them to join forces in bolstering fish resources.
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