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Making dams safer for fish around the world
Date:4/14/2014

e giant Mekong catfish and the giant freshwater stingray, as well as the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.

The scientists estimate that the region's fish account for almost half of the protein in the diet of the people of Laos and nearly 80 percent for the people of Cambodia. Four out of five households in the region rely heavily on fish for food, jobs, or both.

"Many people in Southeast Asia rely on fish both for food and their livelihood; it's a huge issue, crucial in the lives of many people. Hydropower is also a critical resource in the region," said Deng, a PNNL chief scientist and an author of the paper.

"Can we reduce the impact of dams on fish, to create a sustainable hydropower system and ensure the food supply and livelihoods of people in these regions? Can others learn from our experiences in the Pacific Northwest? This is why we do research in the laboratory to make an impact in the real world, on people's lives," added Deng.

The same team of scientists just published a paper in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, focusing broadly on creating sustainable hydro in the Lower Mekong River Basin. The paper discusses the potential for hydropower sources in the region (30 gigawatts), migratory patterns of its fish, the importance of fish-friendly technology, and further studies needed to understand hydro's impact on fish of the Mekong.

Authors of the Fisheries paper include scientists from PNNL, the National University of Laos, and the Living Aquatic Resources Research Center in Laos, the Federal University of So Joo Del-Rei in Brazil, the University of British Columbia; and from Australia, the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute in New South Wales, the Narrandera Fisheries Centre in New South Wales, and Fishway Consulting Services. PNNL's work in the area has been funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and AusAid, the Australian Agency fo
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Contact: Tom Rickey
tom.rickey@pnnl.gov
509-375-3732
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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