The Mekong River is one of the world’s largest rivers and has an annual captured fish production of about 2.3 million tonnes, equivalent to around 11 billion USD. Although the Mekong provides important ecological and socioeconomic benefits to millions of people, it is facing intensive change due to anthropogenic stressors. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the changes to the spatiotemporal fish communities to inform sustainable fisheries management. Here, we aimed to characterize patterns of the fish communities and identify the ecological status of each fish community using daily catch data from 2007 to 2018 at 25 monitoring sites in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB). The collected data were classified by a self-organizing map into four main groups. Group 4 represented the lower Vietnam Mekong Delta (VMD), while groups 1, 2, and 3 were subdivided into subgroups 1a (upper LMB), 1b (upper and middle LMB), 2a (Mekong River below the Khone Falls and Sesan River), 2b (Mekong River below the Khone Falls and Sekong, Sesan and Srepok (3S) Rivers), 3a (Floodplain-Tonle Sap and Songkhram) and 3b (upper VMD). Among the 571 species recorded, 119 were identified as indicator species. Based on the abundance and biomass comparison curves, the fish community of 2b was in a healthier condition with a positive W-statistic value while the rest had a negative W-statistic value. The highest species richness and diversity were observed in 3a and 2b, so these subgroups deserve high management and conservation priority. Likewise, 1a should also be considered as a high priority area since it harbors several endangered and long-distant migratory fishes. It was also noticed that the fish communities of groups 3 and 4, located far from the hydropower dams, remained mostly unchanged compared to those of groups 1 and 2, close to the mainstream and tributary dams in the upper LMB and 3S Rivers.
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