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Over fishing: Fears over island fish stocks

Over fishing
VILLAGERS on Koh Kyong island in Preah Sihanouk province are preparing a complaint over more than 300 allegedly unlicensed fishermen who they say are illegally operating in local waters.

Loung Bunny, chief of the Association for Natural Protection in Ochroy commune, said yesterday  that fishermen from Vietnam’s Phú Quoc island and provinces around Cambodia were threatening local livelihoods. “Vietnamese fishermen use their modern, mechanised boats to fish [without permission] in this commune” he said. “We are collecting thumbprints for the villagers to file a complaint to the local authorities and the Fisheries Administration in early August.” Fisherwoman from Koh Kyong island, 47-year-old Eang Hern, said yesterday her daily earnings had dropped from 50,000 riels (US$12) three months ago to 20,000 riels due to overfishing.

But Duong Sam Ath, chief of the provincial Fisheries Administration , yesterday denied any unlicensed Vietnamese fishermen were operating in the area.

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