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Fish output likely to drop

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A fisherman washes his hand-made net in Tonle Sap lake, in Siem Reap province. Photograph: Reuters

Fishery resources could fall this year because of a lack of flooding along rivers and waterways impeding fish from travelling freely or finding food to encourage their growth, a fishery official says.

Sam Nov, deputy general director of Fishery Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry, said the level of water in Tonle Sap had reduced, resulting in decreased disbursement of the fish that migrate there.

He said that according to observations of small-fish migration from the Mekong into Tonle Sap, the number of small fish migrating had not changed, but less water made those fish grow more slowly.  

“Due to little water this year, fish could not go everywhere, so those fish could not grow faster and have a small size,” he said.

“If they are small, their weight will be less than in the previous year.”

Minh Bunly, program co-ordinator for Tonle Sap Lake at the Fisheries Action Coalition Team, a Cambodian alliance of local and international NGOs, said there were varying views from fishermen in
different areas.

He said some believed that outputs dropped because of the lack of flooding, but some said the amount increased as a result of limiting fishing lots owned by the wealthy.

Chheng Kimheng, a member of the Phatsanday fishing community in Kampong Thom province, said she agreed that fish were smaller because those caught were on average about 0.3 to 0.5 kilograms, whereas last year, they were between 0.8 and one kilogram on average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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