Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

Future of the Mekong River is at risk

July 14, 2015
Dam construction along Mekong River, Laos

Dam construction along Mekong River, Laos

The Mekong River in Southesast Asia is one of the world’s longest waterways, and flows through 6 countries: China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. In November of 2014, NWNL followed the Mekong River from Chiang Khong, Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos. This is part of the main stem of the river.

Development along the Mekong, Chiang Khong, Thailand, 2014

Development along the Mekong, Chiang Khong, Thailand, 2014

Mekong water used for crop irrigation, Chiang Khong, Thailand

Mekong water used for crop irrigation, Chiang Khong, Thailand

Fishery, Chiang Khong, Thailand

Fishery, Chiang Khong, Thailand

Fish make up 80% of the Southeast Asian diet.

Ame Trandem, Southeast Asia program director for the environmental group International Rivers, says the dam-building rush and climate change have brought the Mekong River Basin close to a “catastrophic tipping point”.

Dam construction in Laos

Dam construction in Laos

The proposal of several hydrodams would be devastating to millions of people who depend on the Mekong River for their livelihoods, food security, crop irrigation and let’s not forget wildlife!

Stay informed! Read more about this in “Cry Me a River.”

Check for updates on International Rivers and Save the Mekong.

Dam construction in Laos

Dam construction in Laos

Shrimpin’ in Louisiana – a waning tradition?

October 29, 2014

Shrimp boats are a common sight, but shrimpers and oystermen in the Mississippi River Delta are struggling with decreased fisheries due to oil spills, and changes in water salinity and temperatures.

USA:  Louisiana, New Orleans, Gulf Coast, Mississippi River Delta, Shrimp boats in Buras

USA: Louisiana, New Orleans, Gulf Coast, Mississippi River Delta, Shrimp boats in Buras

Related reading: Louisiana oyster and shrimp industries in serious decline after BP oil spill


This Sunday look for the Full Sturgeon Supermoon

August 6, 2014


This Sunday, August 10, the full Moon will appear as much as 14% closer and 30% brighter than other full Moons of the year.

Why? The August full Moon falls on the same day as perigee.

It is known as the Full Sturgeon Moon of August. Fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. – Farmer’s Almanac


“Water is a living thing that provides for us – physically and spiritually. – Jessica Koski, mining technical assistant for the Keweenaw Bay Tribe, Upper Peninsula, Michigan
[It’s more than just water at stake]

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

What are anadromous fish?

May 23, 2014

Tomorrow is World Fish Migration Day (WFMD). The ancient migration story of fish ascending rivers from oceans to breed is miraculous.  Such fish – called anadromous, from the Greek word  “anadramein” meaning “running upward” – include salmon, steelhead, shad, sturgeon, lamprey in the Pacific Northwest; and shad, sturgeon, alewives and herring along the US East Coast.

USA:  Washington, Columbia River Basin, Ilwaco mural of salmon

USA: Washington, Columbia River Basin, Ilwaco mural of salmon

Anadromous fish swim from the sea inland via open rivers to spawn in small headwater tributaries. In so doing, they bring with them marine nutrients that enrich riverine flora, fauna and forests.  After their long journeys back to where they were born, the adult fish release their eggs in cool, forested waters and then die.  Thus, some hail anadromous fish as the greatest parents of all, because the nutrients of their remains nourish the flies and insects that are eaten by newly-hatched smolt.

This month, our NWNL Snake River Expedition is documenting the dynamics of anadromous fish in the Pacific Northwest and the studies of local fish biologists, fishermen, watershed managers and the Nez Perce tribal nation.  Today, NWNL joins them and the world in honoring the ecosystem services and sustenance values provided by anadromous fish.

Canada:  British Columbia, Winlaw, Slocan River Valley, salmon mural

Canada: British Columbia, Winlaw, Slocan River Valley, salmon mural

*Check out 10 (very interesting!) Things You Might Not Know About Migratory Fish.

will work for clean water

June 7, 2013


Have a few laughs and check out more of T. McCracken’s witty water quality cartoons and ecology cartoons!!!

Images of Ferguson Gulf Fish Market, Kenya

February 22, 2013

Kenya’s Lake Turkana is the terminus of Ethiopia’s Omo River, one of the 6 NWNL case-study watersheds. This January a NWNL expedition spent 4 weeks in Kenya investigating serious upstream threats (of dams and irrigation needs for massive new agricultural plantations) to Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake. The impact of these new schemes could drastically reduce the levels of the lake by half, or more, thus killing off Kenya’s largest fishery.

NWNL returned from this expedition with compelling imagery and interviews from the Lake Turkana’s Ferguson’s Gulf fishing villages; commercial fishing ventures in Kalokol; and Lodwar, Turkana County’s capitol – all on the western shores of Lake Turkana. Ferguson’s Gulf is the major Nile tilapia breeding ground in this lake of 47 fish species, but these shallow waters will quickly dry up when Ethiopia starts filling the reservoir of its Gibe III dam next year.

NWNL spent two days with Ikal Angelei, Director of Friends of Lake Turkana, and her colleague Billy Kapua, visiting various sites for interviews with locals and filming opportunities for NWNL.

“We want people to focus on this region’s ecological dependence on this lake, the conflict potential if water levels fall and the national pride for this resource-rich lake that produces 30–40 tons of fish per year for Kenya,” stated Ikal Angelei.

Angelei and Kapua shared with NWNL the most up-to-date details of the challenges facing Lake Turkana, as well as possible actions that could prevent the lake’s water levels from dropping, thus protecting the livelihood of 1/2 million people in the Lower Omo Basin and Lake Turkana Basin. On a broader level, the loss of Lake Turkana’s fisheries would significantly impact the fish-market economy of Kenya. And furthermore, displacement of local indigenous communities from agricultural plantations will cause over-crowding and most likely great conflict in the Ilemi Triangle on the borders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. In this region, where boundaries have never been demarcated, over 12 tribes are dependent on access to water and green grazing lands for their livestock.

To study alternative options for the local indigenous pastoralists and fishermen, NWNL visited development projects west of the lake in Kapenguria and along Muruni River (a tributary of the Turkwell River which flows into Lake Turkana). CABESI projects, visited with directors Rolf Gloor, Mercy Kinyapyap and Paul Losute, included bee-keeping for many honey products, camel husbandry as a more drought-appropriate replacement for cattle and goats, and wild silk production from moths on local acacia. However, if the Lake Turkana water levels drop, that could affect weather in the entire region, adding to the increasing droughts being caused by climate change – and all of these alternative livelihoods depend on at least some water! No Water – No Livelihoods!

Photos taken on NWNL’s recent Omo River Basin Expedition.

All images © Alison M. Jones for

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