Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

Fishing communities mobilise to protect their livlihoods

All along the coast, communities are in uproar as professional Vietnamese fishermen move in to Cambodian waters, pushing out locals

IN the wake of the shooting death of a fisheries official last month, fishing communities are threatening protests unless authorities address their complaints against illegal fishing by Vietnamese.

"We cannot compete with the Vietnamese boats," said Neak Sen, 39, villager in Koh Troey fishing community in Kampot province's Kampong Bay district, Troey Koh commune. "Our livelihood has been put in question."

Around 40 fishing communities living in Sihanoukville, Kep, Kampot and Koh Kong have announced plans to gather in Kampot province to express their concern over Vietnamese illegally overfishing Cambodian waters.

"The Vietnamese boats are big and have 200 to 300cc of power which allows the Vietnamese to catch up to 1 tonne of seafood in one night," Neak Sen said. "We use only small boats with 24cc of power and we catch less than 100kg of seafood per night."

Moreover, no action has been taken against illegal Vietnamese fishermen who are believed to have been behind the shooting death of a fisheries official on July 16. "No one has arrested the perpetrator yet," Neak Sen said, adding that the protesters will also appeal to the government to find the gunman.

Leng Sarorn, program coordinator for Fisheries Action Coalition Team, an NGO working to protect natural resources along the sea, said that there are between four and six Vietnamese boats fishing in Cambodian waters every night. "Villagers want the Cambodian and Vietnamese authorities to discuss the water boundary," he added.

Thach Khorn, Kampot provincial governor, told the Post by telephone on Wednesday that the protest would be allowed if the villagers demonstrate in accordance with the law. He acknowledged that due to the unclear sea boundary, Vietnamese fishermen were fishing in Cambodian waters and he confirmed that this had caused the shooting incident last month in Kampot.

"We never allowed the Vietnamese to fish here. We will investigate if there are illegal fishermen," he said, adding that people should lodge complaints if they see any illegal fishing.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’