5. Utilization Means Conservation

It is clear that the diversity of living aquatic resources supports the culture of Laos. It would be impossible to sustain the culture with monoculture farmed fishes. If so, what is important is to keep the river basin's ecological environment in good shape in order to sustain the diversity of the living aquatic resources. The foremost requirement is to keep the load on fishery resources to a minimum. However, it can be assumed that the best and most effective way of environmental conservation is for local residents to keep making use of the bountiful resources while paying close attention to the variety of these resources. It is also necessary to study and understand the ecology of each species and enforce fishing regulations in a way consistent with local culture and lifestyles.


Fishing at the edge of an irrigation embankment in Nam Sui at the beginning of the rainy season. The women and children are all good fishermen. Cropping in the dry season using irrigation led to serious infestation of the rice with the rice bug, Leptocorisa chinensis. As a result, the rice tasted bad and cows would not eat straw because of the bug’s bad smell. Another concern is over contamination with pesticides of the fish and frogs that live in the rice paddies, as they provide food for local people. The picture was taken outside Kengkok, Savannakhet Province.


IWATA Akihisa
Changes in the Utilization of Aquatic Resources in Laos