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

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the