Delta Flows: The Role that Delta’s play in sustaining basin-scale fisheries in the Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers

Project Details
Project Period
2017 – 2021
Project Funding
$30,127 (IHE Delft)
Project Location
Lao PDR and Myanmar

Project Summary

Understanding fish migration ecology is vital to preventing extinctions of key species; yet currently little is known regarding the migration patterns of delta-based species in both the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers. Up until now, it has been assumed that most Mekong fish spawn everywhere and that they don’t need to reach the ocean.

This study aims to investigate whether some Mekong and Irrawaddy species do need to migrate to the ocean. Pilot information has indicated that this is the case, but it needs to be validated on a larger scale. If consistent patterns emerge, then it will provide essential information to protect fisheries from hydropower dam developments and other barriers.

Much of the research work is being undertaken by PhD student Mr Vu Vi An, the recipient of an Australia Award. An is also a director with the Vietnamese Research Institute for Aquaculture, in Ho Chi Minh City. An and Lee are using a range of innovative approaches to determine spawning times and locations of ocean-dependent fish across the Lower Mekong Basin and Irrawaddy River basins.

Team Members

Project Partners

  • Charles Sturt University (CSU)
  • National Geographic Society
  • IHE Delft

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Help us advance our research.

Our focus is on looking after fish from egg to adult stage and ensuring the sustainability of river infrastructure projects.

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