Training workshop to prevent electrofishing in the world’s rarest turtle’s habitat

Mr. Nguyen Tai Thang presenting about our work on Swinhoe's softshell turtle research and conservation in Vietnam. Photo by Hoang Van Ha - ATP/IMC.

Although much of the past few weeks has been focused on the discovery of another wild Swinhoe’s softshell turtle at Xuan Khanh Lake, Hanoi, we have still been working hard to protect Dong Mo Lake. Our monitoring, research and awareness activities have been playing a crucial role in protecting Dong Mo Lake, ensuring that fishing techniques used on the lake is not harmful to the turtles and that fishermen know what to do if an animal is accidently caught. On the 24th of April 2018, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of the Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) collaborated with Hanoi Fishery Department and Yen Bai People’s Committee (PC) to organize a training workshop on “Raising awareness of aquatic resources protection and the Swinhoe’s softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)”. This workshop is scheduled to be held for five communes around Dong Mo Lake for government staff and local people. Yen Bai commune was the first training workshop took place this summer.

The workshop comprised two section, led by Nguyen Tai Thang, the ATP Rafetus field officer and Mr Chu Duc Hieu of Hanoi Fishery Department. Up to date information was presented about Swinhoe’s softshell turtle research and conservation by the ATP while Mr Hieu provided details on laws and regulations on harmful fishing techniques and the management of common exotic species in aquatic ecosystem.

With more than 50 participants, including a majority of PC staff and police officers, a key focus of the training was to reduce the harmful fishing techniques, particularly electrofishing from being used in Yen Bai commune.

We would like to thank Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and the IUCN for supporting this activity. A special thanks to Hanoi Fishery Department, and Yen Bai commune PC for their continued collaboration on the Rafetus conservation project.

Press release by: Hoang Thi Phuong Thao – ATP/IMC
Date: 24th April 2018

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