Commercial fish farmers along the Tonle Sap River in Kampong Chhnang province have called on the authorities to find a way to rescue the remaining fish in their fish farms, as the unrelenting hot weather continues to kill their fish.

Nguyen Van Ke, who farms fish in Khsam commune’s Chong Koh village of Kampong Chhnang town, told The Post on April 11 that despite moving his enclosures into deeper water and the addition of oxygen pumps, his stock continued to die.

Late last week, Ke told The Post that nearly 400 tonnes of fish belonging to more than 100 households in his village had died since the beginning of April. He had personally lost almost six tonnes of saleable fish.

Fisheries officials blamed unseasonably high temperatures and low water levels, saying these conditions had led to a reduction in the river’s oxygen level.

“We are calling for the fisheries officials to recommend what our next course of action should be, so that we can save our remaining fish. What they have done so far does not seem to have been effective,” said Ke.

Ly La, director of the Fisheries Administration’s (FiA) Kampong Chhnang provincial cantonment, told The Post that there is nothing further that can be done, beyond moving the cages into deeper water and pumping oxygen into their enclosures.

“We took samples of dead fish and found no signs of disease, and the water samples from the river had no traces of toxins or other harmful chemicals. What our experts were able to determine was that the water had very lows of oxygen. It is as simple as that,” he said.

He urged the affected fish farmers to continue to follow the instructions they had been given.

“After a few days of continuous rain, air temperatures will be reduced, water levels will rise, and the oxygen levels in the river will return to normal,” he noted.