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Fishermen feeling the heat

9 fishermen

Rising water temperatures are affecting fisheries and marine life, said several representatives of Cambodia’s aquaculture industry, and the effect is decreasing seed production and lowering aquaculture farmers’ productivity.

Say Sorn, president of aquaculture seed production in Siem Reap province, told the Post yesterday that water temperature is an important factor for marine life sustainability. However, temperatures have been rising much higher than in previous years, and this is affecting fish farming in his province.

“When it is very hot is very hard for freshwater aquaculture to adapt,” Sorn said. “It is lowering the seed production about 40 per cent. Before, I used to get 100 fish from the seeds, and it has now decline to just 60 fish.”

The complaints over rising water temperatures are not restricted to Siem Reap; many other farmers are facing similar complications.

Vann Po, president of the aquaculture seed production network in Takeo province said high temperatures make his pond dry out very fast. He said the water warmth is a major concern to his farming income.

“If high temperatures last longer, hundreds of farmers in the province will face difficulty finding water for their ponds, so the life of fish in the
ponds is uncertain,” Po said.

Hav Viseth, director of the department of aquaculture development of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, agreed that rising water temperatures is leading to lower productivity.

However, he does not think it is in decline nationwide because the number of farmers who are involved with fish farming has increase a great deal compared to a year earlier.

According to Viseth, the number of ponds used for aquaculture increased from 3,455 in 1993 to slightly more than 60,000 ponds this year.



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