Provincial authorities arrested eight Vietnamese fishermen who illegally crossed into un-demarcated Cambodian waters in Kampot province on Tuesday.
The two boats were intercepted by river police in the early morning while they were trawling, Touch Poleak, deputy director of the water border protection department, said.
After the fishing boats were stopped, the detained men were handed to fishery officials, he said.
Sar Sarin, provincial director of the fishery department in Kampot, said the eight fishermen would be released and their boats returned after were educated and fined.
“According to Article 94 in Chapter 6 of the fishery crime law, trawls wider than 10 metres are fined, while the people will be given education and released,” Sar Sarin said.
“Few cases of forestry crime committed by Vietnamese occur in Kampot province, because the water is shallow,” he added, noting that the men had been caught using nets that are illegal in both Cambodia and Vietnam.
They would probably be released today, he said.
The issue of Vietnamese commercial fishermen using illegal nets had angered local fishermen in Kampot, Neak Sen, a representative of the Trouy Kos fishing community, said.
“Fishery crimes of Vietnamese using [banned nets] for trawling not only affect the country’s aquatic resources but also the livelihood of Cambodians who depend on fishing,” Sen said.
The eight men who were arrested remain temporarily detained at the Kampot provincial police station.
To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at firstname.lastname@example.org