Sunday, August 4, 2013

As dams loom, Mekong fishermen fear for their future

Terra Daily via AFP: The waters of the mighty Mekong have sustained generations of families but nowadays its fishermen often find their nets empty and fear hydropower mega-dams will destroy their livelihoods.

...For many in the community, the reason lies upriver in the Chinese province of Yunnan where dams on the upper reaches of the river disturb the delicate cycle of nature. "Usually the water would rise (and fall) with the seasons," said fisherman Decha Chaiwong, 48. Now it ebbs and flows depending on whether the dams are open or closed, he said.

...Today a new threat looms downstream in neighbouring Laos. The Xayaburi hydropower project is one of 11 planned on the lower Mekong, raising worries for the future of the 60 million people in the region estimated to depend on the river in some way...

Scoop net fishing on the Mekong River, shot by Ricardo Hurtubia, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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