Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Illegal practices threaten fish industry

Illegal practices threaten fish industry

Illegal practices threaten fish industry

illeg.jpg
illeg.jpg

Fishermen haul in a net that had been strung across the width of the Tonle Sap River.

A new generation of illegal fishermen, equipped with the latest drag net technology

and using powerful speedboats, are accused of threatening the viability of commercial

fishing in the Kingdom.

In Kampong Thom, Kampong Chhnang along the Tonle Sap and the Great Lake, Battambang

and other provinces, fishermen using surface trawl, bottom trawl and giant cast nets

are taking record fish catches that fishers and fishery officials say are dangerously

unsustainable.

Villagers from Kampong Chhnang's Cholasa District have filed complaints about the

new industrial fishing techniques with the Department of Fisheries asking for urgent

intervention.

Villagers' representative Heng Sokhalay told the Post that since March 9 more than

20 armed boats outfitted with the new nets had been fishing in their district.

Sokhalay said that the tools are completely illegal but that Hun Sen's recent announcement

abolishing taxes on fishing equipment has been taken by unscrupulous fishermen as

a green light for the use of all and any tools available.

"This [industrial fishing] is worse than electrical fishing because they string

the nets across the entire width of rivers and catch everything," he said. "We

need [Hun Sen] to review this matter because if things continue the way they are

now we will have no fish to catch."

Another factor cited in the sudden boom in illegal industrial fishing techniques

is the withdrawal in recent months of fisheries officials at the grassroots level

due to allegations of corruption.

Em Vorin, Chief of Battambang's fisheries office in Battambang, acknowledged that

illegal fishing was increasing exponentially and "seems to be out of control".

Of particular concern to Vorin is the effect that the absence of fisheries officers

on the rivers has had on the previously pristine "research fishing lots".

"Research lots are being plundered by illegal fishermen because there are no

officials on hand to monitor the situation," he said.

Vorin's concerns were echoed by Ieng Kim Eng, Deputy Chief of Kampong Thom's fisheries

office.

"Fishermen taking advantage of the situation by colluding with military personnel

and using illegal fishing equipment are rapidly depleting our fish resources,"

he warned.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the