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Hydro lake depleted of fish due to ‘poor management'

Update: May, 20/2013 - 10:08

DIEN BIEN (VNS)— Fish have become depleted in an artificial lake in northern Dien Bien Province's Dien Bien District due to lack of management and co-operation among vested interest groups while calls for action by local commune leaders and residents have gone unheeded.

Pa Khoang Lake supplies water to the hydro plants of Thac Bay, Na Loi, and Thac Trang as well as most rice fields in the region. Located in Muong Phang Commune, it is about 20km from Dien Bien Phu city, linking the city with the Muong Phang forest where relics of the Dien Bien Phu campaign remain.

It covers 600ha and contains 40 million cubic meters of water with numerous islands and varieties of animals and vegetation.

In the 1990s, the Dien Bien Agricultural and Aquatic Products Management Limited Company was in charge of rearing fish in the lake, which produced 100-120 tonnes of fish per year for the local region.

Fishing in the lake was also a major activity for locals and tourists.

However, since 2004 management of the lake has has been in the hands of several enterprises and authorities, such as the management board of the Pa Khoang Tourism Project, district police and the military command, among which groups there has been a lack of co-operation.

The result has been over-exploitation. The disappointed district People's Committee has twice proposed the lake be put under the management of the Muong Phang Commune to no avail.

Lo Van Tinh, chairman of the communal People's Committee, said that the lake would surely be managed more effectively by the commune authority and residents. "When people directly benefit from the lake, they will protect it," he said.

Tinh said commune leaders would continue to discuss ways to manage the lake while continuing to lobby the higher authorities for the best solution.— VNS

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