The Trans-Himalayan region encompasses a number of countries situated in the midland and highland areas of the Himalayas, Karakoram, and in a broad sense also in Hindu Kush and Pamir. The mountains are characterised by a very low level of human development, with full exploitation or overexploitation of the natural resources. Fisheries play an important role in providing food and income to the mountain people.
The Symposium on Cold Water Fishes of the Trans-Himalayan Region, held 10-13 July 2001 in Kathmandu, Nepal, was attended by 70 participants from 10 countries. In 32 presentations it reviewed information, experiences, ideas and findings related to fish and fisheries in the region, paying special attention to fish species distribution, fishing intensity, socio-economic conditions and livelihoods of fisher communities, as well as to the impact of environment degradation, conservation measures and aquaculture technologies for indigenous and exotic cold water fish.
The Symposium highlighted the role that fisheries play in providing food and income to people within the Trans-Himalayas and Karakoram. Recognising the need to increase the role of aquatic resources in poverty alleviation, the Symposium urged national governments to give greater attention to fisheries development in mountain areas. The Symposium put forward a number of priority issues, including collaborative action on a regional scale, which would probably be the most cost-effective way to address these common problems and to share experiences. The recommendations are expected to be addressed in follow-up activities under a Trans-Himalayan regional programme.
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