Thursday February 29, 2024

The Diplomat

The Mekong was once a river teeming with fish, providing food security for millions of poor farmers as well urban centers. These days, that river of abundance has disappeared, replaced by forlorn fishers who say they’re lucky if they can secure a catch at all, as more and more hydropower dams are being installed.

A peer-reviewed academic paper by Richard Friend et al, “Hydropower Development and the Neglect of Inland Capture Fisheries,” looks at how the importance of freshwater fisheries has been sadly overlooked and marginalized by Mekong policymakers.

Friend, an associate professor at the University of York and a former Mekong River Commission (MRC) consultant told The Diplomat, “Despite the substantial scientific evidence on the critical importance of fisheries to food security, nutrition and the devastating impact of dams on fisheries, there has been no shift in hydropower policy.” 

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