Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

All along the coast, communities are in uproar as professional Vietnamese fishermen move in to Cambodian waters, pushing out locals

IN the wake of the shooting death of a fisheries official last month, fishing communities are threatening protests unless authorities address their complaints against illegal fishing by Vietnamese.

"We cannot compete with the Vietnamese boats," said Neak Sen, 39, villager in Koh Troey fishing community in Kampot province's Kampong Bay district, Troey Koh commune. "Our livelihood has been put in question."

Around 40 fishing communities living in Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong have announced plans to gather in Kampot province to express their concern over Vietnamese illegally overfishing Cambodian waters.

"The Vietnamese boats are big and have 200 to 300cc of power which allows the Vietnamese to catch up to 1 tonne of seafood in one night," Neak Sen said. "We use only small boats with 24cc of power and we catch less than 100kg of seafood per night."

Moreover, no action has been taken against illegal Vietnamese fishermen who are believed to have been behind the shooting death of a fisheries official on July 16. "No one has arrested the perpetrator yet," Neak Sen said, adding that the protesters will also appeal to the government to find the gunman.

Leng Sarorn, program coordinator for Fisheries Action Coalition Team, an NGO working to protect natural resources along the sea, said that there are between four and six Vietnamese boats fishing in Cambodian waters every night. "Villagers want the Cambodian and Vietnamese authorities to discuss the water boundary," he added.

Thach Khorn, Kampot provincial governor, told the Post by telephone on Wednesday that the protest would be allowed if the villagers demonstrate in accordance with the law. He acknowledged that due to the unclear sea boundary, Vietnamese fishermen were fishing in Cambodian waters and he confirmed that this had caused the shooting incident last month in Kampot.

"We never allowed the Vietnamese to fish here. We will investigate if there are illegal fishermen," he said, adding that people should lodge complaints if they see any illegal fishing.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the