FISHERIES officials in Kampong Chhnang province said Thursday that raids over one week had uncovered 48 cases of illegal fishing.
Sam Sathva, deputy director of legislation at Kampong Chhnang’s Fisheries Administration, said the raids, carried out from April 28 to May 6, targeted fishermen suspected of using illegal equipment and fishing in protected areas.
In 12 cases, authorities seized and destroyed illegal fishing equipment.
“We did not arrest any suspects during the crackdown because they escaped when we arrived,” Sam Sathva said.
Overall, officials said they believe illegal fishing has declined nationwide.
Fisheries Administration Director Nao Thouk said cases of illegal fishing have declined 30 percent so far this year compared to last year – a result he attributed to increased public awareness.
The fishermen “understand more about the benefits of fishing and the impacts of overfishing,” Nao Thouk said.
“There were 16 fishermen who were arrested and sentenced to jail this year. That is a good result of us trying very hard to crack down on illegal fishing,” he added.