Nguyen Tai Thang – ATP/IMC
(Hanoi) – In May and June 2020, the Hanoi Fisheries Department released native fish species into Dong Mo Lake and Xuan Khanh Lake, in northern Vietnam, with the help of the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and members of local communities. This annual activity is conducted to replenish the aquatic resources and improve the living environment for the extremely rare and endangered Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) residing in these lakes. This activity is a big community event every year, and the authorities of the nearby Kim Son and Xuan Son communes, as well as local fishermen whose livelihoods depend on the fish.
Mr Nguyen Van Hai, a fisherman who has been fishing for 20 years on the lake, said: “In the past two years, fish production on the lake has started to increase again, bringing a more stable income for fishermen. With some native fish species have reappeared after many years of being unobserved.”
Fish release is just one of a series of activities conducted by the Fisheries Department to conserve the Swinhoe’s softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Dong Mo and Xuan Khanh lakes. Previously, all the fishermen participated in a training course on the conservation of Rafetus swinhoei and aquatic resources. In addition, knowledge about the legal aspects of wildlife conservation and sustainable fishing was provided to local fishermen.