New Reports Point to Dams ‘Stressing’ Cambodia’s Mekong River Fisheries

Kong Kim, a fisherman in Cambodia’s northeast, is worried about the next few years.

“I am concerned that there will be no fish in the future,” the 62-year-old told VOA Khmer earlier this week. “Fish are now less and less.”

Once he could fish the Mekong River for his family and catch enough to sell as well, he said, but today he hooks just 1 or 2 kilograms of fish where he usually fishes in Cambodia’s Kratie province. “In the last two years, fish have declined, and even people who just catch fish near (their) home can’t even get one.”

“Since there are hydropower dams, the water flow during the dry season has changed,” said the father of seven. “Now even during the dry season, there is rising water level.”

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) — an intergovernmental body comprising Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam — has conducted two new studies that support Kong Kim’s observations.

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Sun Narin