VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Government officials released 250,000 fish fry into the Nam Ngum River in Thangon Village, Xaythany District, Vientiane on Tuesday to mark the National Aquatics and Wildlife Day which falls on July 13.
Participants at the event included the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Phet Phomphiphak; the vice-mayor of Vientiane, Phoukhong Bannavong; Governor of Xaythany District, Khampadith Khemmanith; other government officials; and members of international organizations.
The event was supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the European Union.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Sousath Sayakoummane, said the government places great importance on the conservation of biodiversity, including aquatic animals and other wild species.
The ministry has enacted legislation to regulate and protect wildlife, linked to community awareness and widespread promotion across the country.
“This year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will join Party committees and local authorities across the country to add 60 million fingerlings of fish and other aquatic animals to rivers and wetlands.” , did he declare.
“Today, a total of 250,000 fish are to be released in the Nam Ngum.”
“I believe the amount of fish placed in the river today will boost aquatic diversity and ensure sufficient fish stocks for the future. »
“I would like to take this opportunity to call on everyone to participate in the management and protection of aquatic species and wild animals, so that Laos is richly populated with wild animals.”
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is also returning more than 300 wild animals to their natural habitat.
These plans are part of the ministry’s food security strategy and the government’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2021-2025.
Laos has over 1,000 wildlife species and over 500 native fish species, and is home to many of the world’s rare and endangered aquatic animals and wildlife.
Last year, 58.3 million fish and other aquatic species were added to rivers and wetlands, while more than 200 species of birds, reptiles and other animals were released into the wild .
Laos has 52 public hatcheries, 112 private hatcheries and 320 family hatcheries. These supply 224 million fish a year, and it is hoped to increase production of meat, eggs and fish to at least 577,000 tonnes by 2025.