Fish marketing and consumer preference in Lao PDR

Photo credit: MK19 – Fisheries and Aquaculture Production in Reservoirs in Lao PDR

Technical review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Fish market in Laos





The inserted photo shows the display of the indigenous snakeheads and barbs for sale in Thonkhankam Market in Vientiane. These fish were caught in the new Nam Theun 2 Reservoir, which supports an important fishery and associated traders and market sellers. Women dominate the marketing chain of fish, acting as both brokers and retailers.

Based on market surveys, fresh fish products dominate the sales in the market. Various sources supplying fish to the market including wild capture fisheries from rural areas & capture fish from the Siphandone wetlands. Farmed fish in the market are mainly from Thailand and from fish farms in Vientiane area.  There is a strong demand for indigenous species in general. Live fish, particularly air breathing fish such as catfishes, anabantids, snakeheads and eels sell for premium prices.

Thai fish are imported and transported on ice while locally captured and produced fish are not kept on ice. However, unsold fresh fish are kept on ice and sold the following day at greatly reduced prices compared to the fresh fish price. Fish which cannot be sold are converted to a fermented fish product.


An Introduction to the Fisheries of Lao PDR. Mekong Development Series No. 6 May 2013

MK19 – Fisheries and Aquaculture Production in Reservoirs in Lao PDR

FAO, 1966. Development of Fish Culture Extension, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Project Assessment Report Prepared by Charles L. Angell



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