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Laos' hydropower ambitions threaten Mekong fishing villages

Effects of dwindling fish stocks and rising prices are felt nationwide

Construction of dams in Laos is threatening the livelihood of fishermen, like these shown in the southern Mekong region of Champasak.

BANGKOK -- The tiny Southeast Asian nation of Laos champions itself as "the battery of Southeast Asia," exporting hydroelectricity to its neighbors as it seeks to exit the ranks of least developed countries.

But developing hydropower -- Laos' major national industry -- is threatening the numerous fishing villages that line the Mekong River, which are seeing fish stocks dwindle as new dams spring up.

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