Mekong wetlands fisheries

Wetlands such as floodplain lakes, reservoirs and swamps play a key role in maintaining the diversity and productivity of biological resources in seasonally flooded areas such as rice farming landscapes and floodplains. Small waterbody fisheries in the Mekong region are intensively exploited and often actively managed and enhanced. We have worked with the Regional Development Committee for Livestock and Fisheries in Southern Laos (RDC), the Livestock and Fisheries Section of Savannakhet Province and the Thai Department of Fisheries to evaluate management strategies for wetland fisheries. The research builds upon, and aims to help improve indigenous management practices through rigorously designed, participatory experiments. Observational and experimental studies in Laos involving more than 40 small water bodies have shown how management systems that combine harvest restrictions with enhancement using non-native carp and tilapia species can generate substantial productivity, socio-economic, and ecological benefits. Our work on Mekong wetlands fisheries was supported by the UK Department for International Development.


Martin, S., Lorenzen, K. & Bunnefeld, N. (2013) Fishing farmers: fishing, livelihood diversification and poverty in rural Laos. Human Ecology 41: 737-747. PDF

Martin, S., Lorenzen, K., Arthur, R.I., Kaisone, P. & Souvannalangsy, K. (2011) Impacts of fishing by dewatering on fish assemblages of tropical floodplain wetlands: a matter of frequency and context. Biological Conservation. PDF

Arthur, R.I., Lorenzen, K., Homekingkeo, P., Sidavong, K., Sanvilaikham, B. & Garaway, C.J. (2010) Assessing impacts of introduced aquaculture species on native fish communities: Nile tilapia and major carps in SE Asian freshwaters. Aquaculture 299: 81-88. PDF

Garaway, C.J., Arthur, R.I., Chamsingh, B., Homekingkeo, P., Lorenzen, K., Saengvilaikham, B. & Sidavong, K. (2006) A social science perspective on stock enhancement outcomes: lessons learned from inland fisheries in southern Lao PDR. Fisheries Research 80: 37-45. PDF

Lorenzen, K., Almeida, O., Arthur, R., Garaway, C. & Nguyen Khoa, S. (2006) Aggregated yield and fishing effort in multi-species fisheries: an empirical analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 63: 1334-1343. PDF

Amilhat, E. & Lorenzen, K. (2005) Habitat use, migration pattern and population dynamics of chevron snakehead Channa striata in a rainfed rice farming landscape. Journal of Fish Biology 67(SB):23-34. PDF

Garaway, C., Lorenzen, K. & Chamsingh, B. (2001) Developing fisheries enhancements in small waterbodies: lessons from Lao PDR and Northeast Thailand. ACIAR Proceedings 98: 227-234. PDF

Lorenzen, K. & Garaway C.J. (1998) How predictable is the outcome of stocking? FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 374: 133-152. PDF

Lorenzen, K. (1998) Culture-based fisheries in Asian Reservoirs and Lakes: Key Issues for Sustainability. In: Aquaculture Sustainability and the Environment. Manila/Bangkok: Asian Development Bank/Network of Aquaculture Centers in Asia-Pacific, pp. 321-327.

Lorenzen, K., Garaway, C.J., Chamsingh, B. & Warren, T.J. (1998) Effects of access restrictions and stocking on small water body fisheries in Laos. Journal of Fish Biology 53 (Supplement 1) 345-357. PDF

Lorenzen, K., Juntana, J., Bundit, J. & Tourongruang, D. (1998) Assessing culture fisheries practices in small water bodies: a study of village fisheries in Northeast Thailand. Aquaculture Research. 29: 211-224. PDF