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

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • First commercial gold mine online

    Australian miner Renaissance Minerals (Cambodia) Ltd on June 21 began the commercial operation of its $120 million Okvau Gold Project in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri, becoming the Kingdom’s first gold producer. Located in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province’s Keo Seima district, the

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Transport minister requests free trial of Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway

    The Ministry of Public Works and Transport held discussions with the company constructing the expressway from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk province to allow drivers to test the road free of charge before an official toll is set. While inspecting the progress of its construction