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Illegal fish exports targeted

The Tonle Sap Authority, along with provincial authorities, yesterday toured several international checkpoints along the border to oversee a crackdown on the unlicensed export of freshwater fish to neighbouring countries.

A public warning was issued last week by the Tonle Sap Authority, calling for an end to illegal fishing in the Tonle Sap lake and, in turn, the export of those fish.

Spokesperson for Banteay Meanchey provincial hall Uk Keoattanak said several members of the authority visited the Poipet border crossing, where they did not see any export of freshwater fish into Thailand.

“Maybe the traders were aware of the warning,” he said.

Tonle Sap Authority secretary general Chan Yutha said the crackdown was created in an effort to protect the legal export of fish to neighbouring countries, particularly Vietnam and Thailand.

“If we continue to allow [illegal fishers] to export fish abroad, it seems that we are encouraging them to illegally fish,” he said.

In unison with the crackdown on unlicensed fish exports, authorities in Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang have begun to attack illegal fishing.

Chan Yutha said that in the past three days, authorities have seized 24,350 metres of illegal fishing nets and other illegal fishing tools, which were then burned.

He also confirmed police seized one boat and made one arrest in Siem Reap.

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