Schmidt-Vogt,D (reprint author),East & Cent Asia Reg Off,World Agro Forestry Ctr,Heilongtan 650201,Kunming,Peoples R China.
Wild aquatic resources are important for the livelihoods of rural communities in the Greater Mekong. This study assessed the economic value of wild aquatic animals and plants in the total mean annual net income of sample households in the study site which were divided into aquatics-non-dependent, and aquatics-dependent households. It was hypothesized that there is a significant difference in income between aquatics-non-dependent, and aquatics-dependent households, and among different sub-groups of aquatics-dependent households. Data was collected by direct structured questionnaire interviews and was analyzed using One-way analysis of variance; Independent sample t tests, and one-sample t test. Aquatics-dependent households have a greater total mean annual disposable income than their counterparts. Wild aquatics make a major contribution to the income of aquatics-dependent households. There was a significant difference of income among the three subgroups of aquatics-dependent households: full-time fishing provided a higher income than part-time fishing and non-fishing. Income from fish is the most important contribution to the total income of full-time fishing and part-time fishing households when compared with other aquatic animals and plants. We therefore conclude that among different groups of aquatics-dependent households, the full-time fishing households are more dependent on aquatics, especially fish compared with the part-time fishing and non-fishing counterparts.