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President welcomes fish release

President Bounnhang Vorachit along with government officials and members of the public across the nation yesterday gathered to release more than 40 million fingerlings into rivers, streams and conservation areas nationwide to mark the National Fish Releasing and Aquatic and Wildlife Conservation Day on July 13.

Releasing fingerlings yesterday at Namngum River in Xaythany district, Vientiane, President Bounnhang also gathered with government officials to release birds to reflect on the importance of livestock and the conservation of wildlife and aquatic animals.

This year, over 300,000 fingerlings were released into Namngum River, Mekong River and Nam Xuang reservoir in Vientiane, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

On the same day in Vientiane, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith gathered with officials in charge to release fish into Mekong River at Km 4 near Thaphalanxay village, Sisattanak district.

Many kinds of fish were released this year including panin , pakheung , pakinya , papark and other kinds of river fish.

This day is considered important for raising awareness among the public about aquatic and wildlife preservation, natural protection, biodiversity balance and to increase the number of fish available for consumption.

In Luang Prabang, the provincial authorities and local officials along with representatives from the agriculture and forestry sector released more than 50,000 fish into local rivers, according to the authorities report.

The rivers where the fish were released were the Mekong, Khan, Pa and Dong. Some of the fish were also released into Kuang-Xi waterfall. The species include included carp, Indian fish and other fish species.

On the same day, Khammuan provincial authorities also released thousands of fingerlings into rivers and a number of conservation areas to help preserve natural ecosystems for future generations.

Interviewed by to media recently, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr Bounkhouang Khambounheuang, stated that releasing fish did not only create a sustainable food source, but also supported the dengue fever control campaign.

“This is because of over 40 million small fish due to be released, some of the fish eat mosquito larvae as part of their diet, and they are being released at the same time as the mosquito population is seasonally on the rise,” he said. To ensure a good survival rate of the fish released, Dr Bounkhouang advises that released fish must be three weeks old. The fish should be released in July, August and September when the quantity of rainfall is increasing; helping the released fish to escape being eaten by bigger species in the natural rivers.

In 2015, about 35 million fish were released into the rivers and streams nationwide, while around 40 million fingerlings were released on the Aquatic and Wildlife Conservation Day, according to the ministry.

However, this year authorities released more than 40 million fish which was more than previous years, Dr Bounkhouang added.

It estimated that the fish population in natural rivers increases by 30 percent each year just because of the National Fish Releasing and Aquatic and Wildlife Conservation day.

Currently, there are more than 800 fish conservation areas in the provinces of Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Luang Prabang, Huaphan, Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Savannakhet, Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu and the capital, of which almost 400 conservation areas were registered.



By Phaisythong Chandara
(Latest Update July 14, 2017)

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