The total water resources utilised for capture fisheries are believed to be more than 1.2 million hectares, based on the fisheries statistics of Lao PDR. The estimated yield of inland fish (both capture and aquaculture) was approximately 131,192 tonnes in 2015, increasing from 82,000 tonnes in 2011.
Around 73% of total fisheries production (96,238 tonnes) originated from aquaculture including fish pond culture, community fish culture in oxbow lakes and irrigation weirs, rice-fish culture and cage culture. However, commercial feed is typically only used in pond culture which represents around 27,495 tonnes of production, the major species cultivated being tilapia, African catfish, climbing perch, common carp, silver barb and frog. In cage culture the main fish species cultured are tilapia and catfish. Approximately 30,768 tonnes of commercial feed was utilised in 2011, rising 46% to 66,762 tonnes in 2015. About 768 tonnes of commercial hatchery feed was also used.
In other production systems (excluding ponds and cages), some supplementary feeding may be conducted following traditional practices and using local materials such as rice bran, vegetables, broken rice, corn, cassava, insects, roots or yeast. Integrated fish farming with livestock is also practiced using various species of carp, barbs, catfish, gourami and snakeheads.
The Lao PDR Government encourages the development of aquaculture for food security in rural areas and for commercial sale in domestic and export markets. The government aims to increase the fish supply to 23kg / person/ year by 2020 and expect to need 153,000 tonnes of commercial fish feed by that time.
Commercial fish feed is mainly imported from neighboring countries as Thailand, China and Vietnam via agents from CP and BETAGRO. Local feed production was only 114,740 tonnes / year as of 2016, produced in eight animal feed factories located throughout the country. These include factories operated by CP (capacity 120,000 tonnes / year, but produced only 9,000 tonnes), New Hope (capacity 120,000 tonnes / year but produced only 8,000 tonnes), Oudomxay Animal Feed Factory (capacity 60,000 tonnes / year produced only 2, 000 tonnes), Vita Feed (capacity 5,000 tonnes / year but produced only 240 tonnes), Saimmid (capacity 10,000 tonnes / year but produced only 1,200 tonnes), Dao Fi (capacity 10,000 tonnes / year but produced only 7,300 tonnes) and remain Nambark (capacity 5,000 tonnes / year) and Nalouang (capacity 2,500 tonnes / year) which have not yet entered operation. Around 80% local raw materials are being used for local feed manufacture.
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