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Fishing season for prahok, meat paste-making officially begins

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The Fisheries Administration says more fish can be caught from January 1-6 along the Tonle Sap River. Heng Chivoan

Fishing season for prahok, meat paste-making officially begins

The Fisheries Administration has announced that the fishing season to make prahok and meat paste will begin early this month.

However, it urged fishermen to release the endangered giant barb fish into rivers if they were found entangled in nets. It said the fish is a symbol of the Kingdom and should be allowed to spawn.

“Based on the present condition of the rivers and lakes, more fish can be caught from January 1-6 along the Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh and Kandal province provided the skies are clear with no early rainfall or storms,” it said in a press release.

At the same time, the Fisheries Administration appealed to those who wanted to make prahok and meat paste for their families to prepare it within the given dates.

It also urged the local authorities at all levels to make it easier for people to travel, stay and transport fish products without obstruction.

The Fisheries Administration said the season for making prahok and meat paste this year would face some issues as fish was not as abundant as in previous years. It is also twice as expewnsive.

During the first fishing season in December, fish for making prahok was sold at between 2,000 to 3,500 riel per kg, while that for making meat paste sold for 8,000 to12,000 riel per kg.

Ouk Chanthy, 45, from Kampong Speu told The Post on Tuesday that during the first fishing season in December, she and her husband went to Russey Keo district’s Kilometre 6 commune in the capital to buy fish to make prahok.

However, as 1kg cost 3,000 to 3,500 riel, they had returned home to wait for the coming season in early January.

She expressed optimism that in this fishing season, the price of fish to make prahok, meat paste, and smoked fish would be lower than in the first season. “More fish would be caught than in the first stage.

“I will buy 30kg of fish to make prahok and 300 bamboo sticks of fish to smoke, despite prices not going down as low as in previous years which was about 1,200 to 1,500 riel per kg,” she said.

She said she was confident there would be more fish this January as that is when the fish will leave the lakes, rivers and tributaries of the Tonle Sap river to travel downstream. But the fishing season can be protracted until the end of January or early February, she said.

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