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Improving the design of irrigation infrastructure to increase fisheries production in floodplain wetlands of the Lower Mekong and Murray-Darling Basins

This project aims to test whether wetland regulators can increase survival of fish as they pass downstream from a wetland into the Mekong. The project is upgrading a regulator at Pak Peung wetland in Laos to make it more 'fish-friendly'.
The Mekong and Australia's Murray-Darling Basin are two of the world's major catchment systems, containing unique fish that are important sources of biodiversity, food and recreation. Irrigation infrastructure (weirs, dams, etc.) in rivers often kills fish migrating both upstream and downstream, affecting fish populations and communities dependent on them.
This project builds on research in the Murray-Darling and the Mekong (and elsewhere), and investigates how irrigation structures affect downstream movement of fish between wetlands and rivers. It will design and test fish-friendly passage devices and management regimes for irrigation infrastructure, including for increasingly popular mini-hydropower systems.
Farming communities and management authorities will be more aware of fish welfare issues, use fish-friendly structures, and understand the economic, social and environmental benefits of restoring a holistic approach to fish passage.