The government continues to provide funding to 150 fishing communities in the amount of four million riel ($1,000) each for community management and fisheries management, flood protection, patrols, conservation and management planning.

Eang Nam, head of the Boeung Be fishing community in Kampong Cham province’s Kang Meas district, said he had just received information that in 2021 his fishing community would receive additional funding for fisheries conservation.

However, he confirmed that as of the afternoon of June 15, his community had not yet received any cash, but the Fisheries Administration did notify them of the funding increase.

According to Nam, the budget provided by the government is for the protection and conservation of fisheries by the community, but most activities beyond patrolling their territory had been curtailed due to Covid-19.

“The government has funded us these past two years, 2020 and 2021. Last year we patrolled and bought equipment like raincoats, flashlights, shoes, airbags, border markers and other things. This year we have all the necessary equipment but we are just patrolling for conservation purposes,” he said.

Nam said that the most important time to patrol was during the wet season because the area has six months of dry land and six months of water.

If there are no Covid-19 issues, then the community can hold monthly meetings and various outreach meetings so that the public can understand what’s going on and help with the protection of fishery resources.

“Since the flood, we have been cooperating with the Fisheries Administration every month to patrol and crack down on crime with their guidance,” he said.

Hong Hy, director of the department of administration and legislation of the fisheries administration, was quoted by the Ministry of Information as saying that the project to improve fish farming around the Tonle Sap Lake was very important to the community there and that it would make encourage people to actively participate in the conservation breeding fish to improve the fisheries resources available there.

“Through community planning, this year the Fisheries Administration has provided financial support through the government’s EU project. Last year the fishery community got four million riel in support at [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s] recommendation,” he said.

According to the information ministry, there are 516 fishing communities throughout Cambodia. Last year, the government gave direct financial assistance to 100 fishing communities, while this year the government plans to help 150 fishing communities.

Keo Yada, a fish farmer in Siem Reap province, said on June 15 that the government’s assistance to the fisheries sector was plentiful. However, she complained that fish farmers in Cambodia were having a hard time selling their produce due to fish imports.

“The goal of raising fish for sale every day is to meet local demand, but if importation is not properly controlled or smugglers import fish illegally by any means, it will affect the farmers and we will fail,” she said.