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Fishermen allege lot sold to businessman

One hundred fishermen in Banteay Meanchey province’s Sisophon town filed a complaint with local authorities yesterday, accusing a provincial fisheries administration official in Phniet commune of selling their subsistence fishing lot to a businessman.

Fisherman Moa Reum, 51, said the commune’s public lot has existed since Prime Minister Hun Sen cancelled private commercial fishing in 2012, but last month, on April 9, locals say commune authorities barred them from casting their rods there.

Ear Yung, another fisherman, confirmed the account, and urged the government to return the lot to community.

“Our lives depend on fishing in that area,” Yung said.

Taing Kuy, the Phniet fishing community director, whose job is under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said she didn’t sell the lot but banned fishing there for a while to help replenish stocks.

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