IFRDMD conducted an inland fisheries assessment in Nam Xouang Reservoir, Lao PDR, on March 14, 2023, using the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) tool. The objective of EAFM is to ensure that ecosystems are healthy, fish stocks are sustainable, and the well-being of the communities and stakeholders that depend on those ecosystems is maintained. Nam Xouang Reservoir was built in 1981 in the north of Lao PDR to provide water to irrigate rice fields. In addition, the reservoir also supports the fishing activities of communities in the surrounding area that provides them with food and income. The government established Fisheries Management Committees in Phonhong District and Naxaythong District to support fisheries in the reservoir. There were 20 respondents from fishers, local officers, and community leaders from Phonhong District and Naxaythong District.
After the meeting, the team had the opportunity to visit the signboards installed in 2018. Eight signboards were installed in Lao PDR to strengthen the enhancement of stock recruitment. The signboards contain regulations for fisheries management in fishing community zones, which do not allow a person or group of people to fish in conservation areas. Written in local languages, the signboards also contain information on the importance and benefits of conservation areas. The team also visited a traditional market selling fresh and processed fish from the Nam Xouang Reservoir.
The assessment was continued on March 15, 2023, in Nam Houm Reservoir. There were 10 respondents from fishers, local officers, and community leaders. Nam Houm Reservoir is situated in Naxaythong District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR. This reservoir is mainly used for irrigation, but fisheries remain to be a significant provider of protein and income for local people in the area.
While in Thailand, on 18 and 19 March 2022, IFRDMD interviewed total of 25 respondents from fishers, local officers, and community leaders in Mun River, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, and Pasak Jolasid Reservoir, Lopburi Province. The team visited a traditional market selling fresh and processed fish from Pasak Jolasid Reservoir.