Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Families in Kampong Chhnang lose fish in mass die-off



Families in Kampong Chhnang lose fish in mass die-off

A floating village in Kampong Chhnang province, where around 70 families have lost some 12,000 kilograms of fish over a three-day period due to excessive heat and shallow waters. Photo supplied.
A floating village in Kampong Chhnang province, where around 70 families have lost some 12,000 kilograms of fish over a three-day period due to excessive heat and shallow waters. Photo supplied.

Families in Kampong Chhnang lose fish in mass die-off

About 70 families who live in floating houses along the Tonle Sap river in Kampong Chhnang province say excessive heat and low water levels have resulted in large-scale die-offs on their fish farms.

Van Srey Em, a fishery community representative in both Phsar Chhnang and Khsam communes, said each family has lost between 100 and 200 kilograms of fish over a three-day period beginning Sunday.

Srey Em said the types of fish the communities raise – primarily catfish – are very valuable.

“Those kinds of fish we can sell for the price of $5 per kilogram,” she said. “But the fish that died over a few days caused us to lose an income of at least $500 to $1,000 per family.”

Heng Eang, another community representative who lives in Phsar Chhnang village, said that he lost around 300 kilograms of fish. For the past two years, families have been able to move their fish cages to deeper waters during the dry season to prevent the fish from dying, he said, but that area is in front of the Kampong Chhnang Autonomous Port, which they can no longer access because of development.

Eang on Wednesday called the provincial Fisheries Administration to intervene in the situation to try to save their fish stocks.

“Right now, we have no method to protect or help our fish survive,” he said. “If authorities don’t allow us to move the fish cages and floating houses to that area for living temporarily, we will lose more [fish].”

Som Phirun, director of the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Fisheries Administration, said that he and his officials had visited the affected communities on Tuesday to monitor the situation, provide advice and take measures to protect the fish.

He confirmed waters were only 1.5 to 3 metres deep in the area and that temperatures had reached 40 degrees Celsius, resulting in a lack of oxygen for the fish. “We give them suggestions about three options for them to protect or reduce their fish from dying,” he said.

These included selling the fish now, transferring them to larger cages and using an underwater fan to create oxygen flow, and shuttling back and forth from the shallows to deeper waters.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year