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Cambodia's First Fishway to Mitigate Disrupted Fish Migration

PHNOM PENH: Cambodia, in collaboration with the Australian government, has opened its first fish ladder (or fishway) in Siem Reap’s Sleng Village to help maintain movement patterns for fish as infrastructure development disrupts their natural habitat. The new fishway will reconnect the flow of the Tonle Sap to local communities, many of which rely on fish as a source of food and income.

In a statement issued on November 2, Australian Ambassador Justin Whyatt said, “The Australian Government is helping Cambodia's fish swim free with an innovative fishway that will restore fish migration and reconnect healthy waterways between the Tonle Sap Lake and local communities.”

He went on to defend Cambodia’s development of dams, hydropower plants and irrigation structures as necessary to economic growth, while proposing a solution for fish migration.

“The fishway is a critical solution to Cambodia's fisheries challenges, as hydropower and irrigation development are essential to economic growth but can also fragment waterways and disrupt fish migration. The Sleng Fishway will benefit the environment and the social and economic wellbeing of local communities, who rely on fish for food and income.”

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