Mekong River Commission
The Mekong River Commision (MRC)'s mandate is to develop the
resources of the Mekong River while ensuring their conservation. The Mekong
has a rich capture fishery and, as such, the MRC views IAS as threat to biodiversity
as well as fisheries production. In response to the demand from the lower Mekong
countries (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam) for the development of
aquaculture in the basin, the MRC developed the Aquaculture of Indigenous
Mekong Species (AIMS) program. (See Table 3 and Appendix F). The MRC
approaches aquaculture as a complement to capture fisheries, not a substitute.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Mekong River Commission Fisheries Program (from Matson et al. 2003)
SPONSORED BY: USAID sponsors the MRC not only the Fisheries Program
COUNTRIES: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam
Aquaculture of Indigenous Mekong fish species
Dr. Chris Barlow,
Fisheries Programme Manager, Mekong River Commission
Dr. Niklas Matson, Aquaculture of Indigenous Mekong Fish Species, Mekong River Commission
In an effort to meet the needs of its four member countries' and reduce the risks of aquaculture with alien
species, the MRC has established a program to research and develop indigenous species for aquaculture.
The MRC has found that indigenous fish have a high market demand and value (see Appendix F).
The WorldFish Center (formerly known as the International Center for
Aquatic Living Resources Management (ICLARM)) works throughout the world
to improve aquaculture production efficiency and food security, in an effort to
reduce poverty (See Table 3). WorldFish Center staff recognizes that while alien
species are important to the future development of aquaculture, they should be
used only after proper risk assessments have been conducted. One of WorldFish
Center's most prominent projects in Southeast Asia has been the development of
the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT). The project has drastically
improved the production efficiency of tilapia through selective breeding (see
Appendix G), but not a single study has been conducted to determine the potential
impacts of these improved fish on the environment.