In celebration of the 13th annual National Fish Day, 1 million baby fish, 100,000 young shrimp and a host of eels, turtles and frogs were freed into a reservoir in the Stung Trang district of Kampong Cham yesterday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who presided over the event, stressed the need for Cambodia to protect fish species and farm more fish rather than catch them from the fast-depleting stocks in the country’s main fresh waterways.
“In previous times, the water was deep and there were many fish but not many people. Now, the water is lower and there are less fish, but many people,” he said. “If we depend on natural fish from the Tonle Sap, Mekong and Bassac rivers, and the natural lakes, it is not enough.”
The premier, who said that he would raise fish upon his retirement from office, said that Cambodia caught 300,000 tonnes of fish last year, compared to 120,000 tonnes in 2013.
He added that the average Cambodian eats about 52 kilograms of fish per year.
“I’d like to appeal to fishermen to not fish during the annual breeding season [from July to October], to not fish using illegal devices and not fish in conservation areas,” Hun Sen said.