The annual Songkhram River Fish Festival has taken place in Nakhon Phanom province since 2001, but this year is special. The week of festivities, from 12-18 December 2020, also marked the Lower Songkhram River’s listing as a Ramsar site earlier this year. The Lower Songkhram, a major Mekong tributary, now joins a list of more than 2,400 sites recognised worldwide as a wetland of international importance.
The Songkhram River Basin becomes a vast, shallow lake in the wet season, supporting a fishery worth more than THB 10 million in income to local fishers (USD 335,000) and maintaining a wide variety of fish and other aquatic life. Critically endangered fish, such as Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri) and the sutchi catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus), are among the 192 species of fish recorded at the site.
Festivities on the ground this year included a ‘healthy diets’ fish-eating festival, and the annual parade of very large fish models. Thanks to Save the Songkhram River @GreenSongkhram for these pics!
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