The Wetland Book pp 1067-1073 | Cite as

Tonle Sap: Fisheries Management Case Study

  • Gareth Johnstone
  • Mak Sithirith
Reference work entry


The Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is considered the “heart” of the Mekong River Basin, helping to pulse the flood waters in and out during the high and low flood seasons and saving large areas in the Mekong Region from flooding and drought. The inflow and outflow of the water between the Mekong River and the Tonle Sap Lake enriches catchment biodiversity and fisheries; the lake itself also an important location for biodiversity and fish. The Tonle Sap Great Lake is connected to the Mekong River through the 100 km long Tonle Sap River, close to 60% of its water originating from the Mekong with the rest coming from local tributaries and rainfall over the lake. The Great Lake covers an area of 250,000–300,000 ha in the dry season and 1.0–1.3 million ha in the wet season. The Tonle Sap Great Lake and floodplain is characterized by high fishery and agricultural productivity, with close to 300 fish species found in the Lake. The Tonle Sap fisheries account for about 60% of the national fish catch. Hydrological fluctuation and dispersed resources around the lake shape the ways in which people settle on the lake geographically, ecologically, and socially with a human population in the Tonle Sap Basin of more than four million.


Lake Hydrology Cambodia Fishery Mekong Productivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CGIARPenangMalaysia

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