The World Wide Fund for Nature recently claimed that the construction of a dam in Northern Lao would disrupt the migration of four of the top 10 largest fish species in the world. They said in their report that, Giant Fish of the Mekong (Catfish that grow up to 350 kgs) and freshwater stingray that can weigh 600 kgs, would be threatened with extinction if the plans go ahead.
It is being said that, around 11 dams are being built in Loas, Thailand, and Cambodia. China has already completed four hydro power on the Mekong. The Mekong is the twelfth longest river in the world, the seventh longest in Asia, and the longest in South-East Asia. According to WWF, the giant Catfish mentioned earlier will not be able to swim across a large barrier like a dam to reach its spawning grounds.
The river is also home to many unique fishes, majorly, the stingray. The world’s biggest freshwater fish. It is said to be a barb and dog-eating fish, so-called because of its interest in dog carcasses.
The dam that is currently being built there is named the Sambor Dam and it is said to generate large power benefits to Cambodia, but at the cost of the destruction of the Mekong fishery. Many claim that the dam would block the fish migration from the Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia. And, it is said to be crucial for reproduction and replenishing, so claimed by many scientists.
The Irrawaddy dolphins, a really endangered species, are found in the Mekong river. They also have high chances of getting wiped out because the deep river pools they use as a refuge during the dry seasons would become filled with sediment blocked by the dam.
However, the plans for the new dam are currently under conflict by the Mekong River Commission. It is an international body made up of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.