FED up with the threat of losing their livelihoods to poachers, more than 100 fishermen in Battambang province plan to launch a crackdown on illegal fishing today, partnering with government officials to try to put an end to the practice.
“We plan to crack down on illegal fishing for a week to protect fish resources for improving the livelihood of communities in this province,” said Ngeth Soeu, chief of Kampong Prieng commune in Sangke district.
The move comes after the fishermen appealed to the commune on Monday. Fisherman Soeung Saran, 38, said his community has had a major problem with poachers, who set up nets in a flooded forest area that serves as a spawning ground for fish.
“If there is no crackdown on illegal fishing, the natural fish resources will be extinguished soon,” he said.
Fishermen saw illegal nets set up in many places in local fishing grounds during a patrol last week, but the authorities did little after the community complained, he said.
However, Ngeth Soeu said officials confiscated seven rolls of illegal netting – each between 1 and 2 kilometres long – in an operation last month.