Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fish catches slowing as waters deteriorate

Fish catches slowing as waters deteriorate

A Kep fisherman casts a net into the sea on the Kingdom’s coast in 2013.
A Kep fisherman casts a net into the sea on the Kingdom’s coast in 2013. Pha Lina

Fish catches slowing as waters deteriorate

Coastal fish yields declined by 5 per cent in the past year, a coastal fishery administration officer said yesterday.

Nen Chamroeun, administration official in Sihanoukville, said fishermen switching to factory work and venturing onto the water less often were the main culprits for the decline.

The catch totalled 46,830 tonnes in 2015, down from 2014’s 49,250 tonnes.

“People in this sector have set out for only 15 to 20 days per month,” he said. “This is different from before, when they were fishing for 25 to 26 days per month.”

However, Nhil Horn, a representative of a fishing community at Prey Nub district, said that coastal fish numbers are down due to a lack of seaweed and mangrove forests, removed by the rich and connected.

“The seaweed is the habitat for the sea creatures, but that seaweed has been cleared and filled with soil almost everywhere, so the fish, crabs and squid are faced with a lack of food and habitat,” he said.

The fishery administration said it planted nearly 13,000 mangrove saplings along the coast in 2015 in an effort to stave off habitat loss.

Savath Om, director of the NGO Fisheries Action Coalition Team, said that illegal fishing is a major factor in the decline.

But, he added, the fishery administration’s figures could be off, due to the industry underreporting in an effort to pay fewer taxes.

Additional reporting by Igor Kossov

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said