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Cops arrest 9 with electric fishing gear

Cops arrest 9 with electric fishing gear

Nine fishermen suspected of illegal fishing were arrested on Wednesday after fishery officials found equipment used for electrocuting fish in their boats in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district.

District police chief Seng Sokcheat said yesterday that officers found six batteries and other tools for “electrofishing” in the suspects’ five boats.

“Laws do not allow fishing by electrocution, because with it you kill the big fish and young fish at the same time,” he said.

Khim Penh, district fisheries office director, said after their arrest that the suspects were educated about fishing laws at the district police station before being sent to the Kandal Provincial Court yesterday. If found guilty, they could face prison terms of three to five years.

Heng Sarin of environmental group Fisheries Action Coalition Team said fishermen turn to illegal methods due to dwindling catches.

“Once they realise ... that their catches will increase if fish stocks can recover, they will stop,” he said.

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