By Suthep Kritsanavarin (Thailand)
HPA2009 Grand Award
Time: August 4, 2007
Place: Siphandon, Laos
Over 4,000 from the melting snows of the Tibetan Plateau, and less than 800 kilometers from the South China Sea, the Mekong River passes through a part of Southern Laos known as “Siphandone” or the four thousand islands.
There are 25,000 species of fish in the world. The lower Mekong supports one of the most productive fisheries in the world – 2.6 million tons of fish caught each year provide up to 80% of the protein intake for 56 million people. Today 100,000 people live along the river banks and on the islands of “Siphandone”. It is in here that the most elaborate (and often dangerous) fisheries traditions and techniques have developed, based on a remarkable knowledge of the local ecology of the Mekong River, which has been handed down from generation to generation.
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