Xekong 3A-3B Fish Monitoring Program

Xekong 3A-3B Hydropower Project Fish Monitoring Survey Summary Report

Client

The Asia Investment, Development and Construction Sole Co. (AIDC)

Location

Xekong Province, Lao PDR

Project Duration

October 2017 – March 2019

Background

The Asia Investment, Development and Construction Sole Co. (AIDC) is seeking consultants to undertake a fishery monitoring survey along the Xekong River to identify the potential impact of two proposed cascade dams, Xekong 3A and 3B, located in the Xekong province of Lao PDR. The survey will aim to establish the baseline conditions of local fisheries (i.e. fish and macroinvertebrate populations) and help AIDC determine whether these populations or their natural movement may be impacted by the construction of the dams. The dams are being proposed as part of a hydropower project for which an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) has been undertaken. However, it is understood that the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) requires further information than the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) provided on the potential impacts of the cascade dams Xekong 3A and 3B on fisheries populations before approval for the project can be granted.

Services Provided

ESL in association with Accent Environmental (Accent) and Aquatica Environmental (Aquatica) were conducted the methodology for the monitoring program will be further developed in consultation with AIDC and following a review of relevant documentation. However, based on the project team’s experience conducting work of this nature we expect the core elements of the study to comprise:

  • Designing an appropriate baseline fishery (fish and macro-crustae) monitoring program, based on international standards, specifying the monitoring locations, timing and frequency.
  • Undertaking surveys at key impact and control survey sites within the vicinity of the proposed Xekong 3A and 3B dams for:

– fish and macro-crustacea macro-crustacea species and abundance

– aquatic habitat

– species of migrating fish

– species of fish captured by the local community

– species of fish on the IUCN Red List.

  • Sampling on two separate occasions (biannually), once during the wet and dry seasons to collect data across different seasons and conditions.
  • Identification of fishery species potentially impacted by the Xekong 3A and 3B cascade dams, including those that are reliant on upstream and downstream movement.
  • Description of aquatic habitat at each survey site to assist with assessing fishery migration and passage requirements.
  • Analysis and interpretation of field data, including comparisons between different seasonal sampling events, the range of species present and their key migration/passage requirements. Monitoring results will also be assessed relative to previous surveys within the Xekong River (such as for the ESIA)

Preparation of a report outlining the sampling methods, the results and findings upon completion the two surveys. The report will include recommendations on general design parameters, fisheries mitigation and management measures and future monitoring requirements.

Fisheries sampling at Xekong River

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