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Boats taken in illegal fishing raid

Koh Kong authorities yesterday fined the owners of 10 fishing boats and confiscated three of their vessels for fishing illegally.

Botum Sakor District Governor Orn Pheareak said 11 authorities from various departments intervened after the community in Thma Sar commune called for a crackdown, saying the fishermen with large boats and fine-meshed nets were destroying livelihoods.

Laing Kiri, head of the Koh Kong Fisheries Administration, would not say how many fishermen were involved, but local media reported 14.

The offenders were allegedly throwing their nets in a location reserved for community – not commercial – fishing. “We had tried to educate them two or three times before, but they did not listen,” Kiri said.

He said the men had previously worked at Stung Hav, but allegedly overfished that area and moved to Thma Sar.

Kiri added that, by law, they were required to use a net with 1.2-centimetre-wide holes, but their tighter nets indiscriminately snared smaller fish as well.

Kiri would not disclose the fine amount, but said if they did not pay, the case would be sent to court.

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