Fish sanctuaries are types of aquatic protected areas common throughout the landlocked country of Lao PDR. The key to their successful implementation in Laos appears to be local support. Therefore, they fit well within the context of community-based fisheries/co-management programmes. Fish sanctuaries are almost always established in deep-water pools, which serve as important dry season refuges for fish. The best-known fish sanctuaries in Laos are known as Fish Conservation Zones (FCZs), and are found in the mainstream Mekong River in Khong district, Champasak province, southern Laos. In Khong, there is increasing evidence that FCZs established by villagers, but with government support, are important places of concentration for various fish species. FCZs can benefit fish stocks, especially relatively sedentary species, but also highly migratory ones. FCZs are not panaceas for solving all the fisheries problems in Laos or the Mekong River Basin, but they represent important management tools that should not be overlooked.