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Fish die by the tonne

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Am Rith, 19, unloads a net full of dead fish in Kandal province’s Takhmao district yesterday.

Five fish farmers in Kandal province’s Takhmao district filed a complaint yesterday against the owners of a local ice factory for allegedly pouring contaminated water into the Bassac river on Tuesday, killing tonnes of fish.

Fish farmer Nov Eng, 52, of Takhmao commune’s Takhmao village, said yesterday that she had lost more than six tonnes of fish.

“Ice factory owners have to be responsible for this damage and they have to compensate us because they have flowed waste water into the river,” she said, adding that the five farmers had lost more than 10 tonnes of fish altogether.

“I have no money and I lose everything now because I have used everything I had to feed the fish.”

Another fish farmer, Hong Nguon, 64, said that the owners wanted compensation from the ice factory.

“We are asking local authorities to intervene and get compensation for us because waste water that flowed from the factory smelled badly of chemicals,” he said.

Takhmao commune chief Cheam Koy said yesterday that he had received the fish farmers’ complaint and relevant commune officials had visited the ice factory to investigate.

“I do not know what killed the fish,” said Cheam Koy. “I can’t predict it right now as the investigation just started.”

Representatives from the unnamed ice factory could not be reached for comment yesterday along with Fisheries Administration Director General Nao Thuok.

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