Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fish catch numbers fall, but prahok OK

Fish catch numbers fall, but prahok OK

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The quanity of fish this year will decrease due to abnormal water levels in the Mekong River and Tonle Sap lake. Hong Menea

Fish catch numbers fall, but prahok OK

Fisheries officials have predicted that the quantity of fish this year will decrease more than previous years due to abnormal water levels in the Mekong River and Tonle Sap lake.

Ouch Vutha – the director of the Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries – told The Post on November 24 that a prolonged drought in the upper part of the Mekong River basin caused the Mekong River to fall, resulting in fish failing to spawn on time.

Even so, he said there would be no shortage of prahok, or fermented fish paste.

Vutha added that the season for producing prahok could be extended to December because the outflow of the Tonle Sap Lake was still obstructed.

Dul Buntha, deputy director of the Fisheries Action Coalition in Kampong Chhnang province’s Cholkiri district, said the drought was brought on by climate change. He added the clearing of flooded forests for farming had ruined the habitats of fish before they could breed.

Kampong Chhnang Fisheries Administration chief Ly La told The Post that fish usually breed between May and June and spawn between July and August, when the Mekong River waters rise and flow into the Tonle Sap Lake. The Tonle Sap Lake provides safe habitats and feeding grounds.

He added the drought this year that made the level of the Mekong River fall was compounded by the construction of the hydropower dams in upriver countries, which created an additional obstacle to fish migration.

“In the past, rain-induced floods, which are favourable to freshwater fish living in lakes, creeks and the Tonle Sap’s tributaries, increased breeding. Without those conditions, the quantity of freshwater fish will not increase this year,” he said.

Studies by specialists from Kandal province and the Phnom Penh Fisheries Administration indicated that fish had gradually moved from lakes and creeks, but were of smaller size and at decreased quantities than previous years.

Phnom Penh Fisheries Administration director Ngin Dy told The Post that the bamboo fish traps, locally known as konlong day trei, are ineffective because of a reduction in fish migration from the Tonle Sap River and its tributaries.

“Due to the current conditions of the Mekong River, the quantity and size of natural fish will decrease more than previous years,” he said.


  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio