Middleman

Hanging like fruit from a tree, bags of juvenile fish are on display along the main road in the Pakse district of Champasack province in Southern Laos. We have written about the fish markets in Southeast Asia previously (One Fish), but these fish aren’t being sold for consumption, at least not yet. These fish are stock for fish farmers. The middleman imports fingerlings from Thailand and sells them to local small-scale fish farmers who raise them to sell at fish markets or just for their own consumption. Each bag, selling for about $2.50 U.S. (20,000 Lao Kip), contains 100 juvenile fishes such as silver barb, common carp, tilapia, and clarias catfish. Farmers who purchase the fish will release them into ponds, irrigation ditches, rice fields or cages placed in the Mekong River. In less than a year these fingerlings may be ready for a different kind of market.