A directive from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries dated January 15, received by The Post on Thursday, said fisherman caught using certain illegal modern traps will be sentenced to three to five years in prison.
The directive – named Prevention and Interception Measures on Modern Fishing Trap called Lob Kantuy Kandol, Lob Puohvien Chrouk, Lob Proeus Muoy Roy – cited Article 98 of the Fisheries Law, restricting the use of certain types of fishing equipment.
Hong Hy, the Fishery Administration of Cambodia’s administration department head, told The Post the directive referred to a specific fishing trap that has come into usage in recent years.
The trap, made of fishing net and tightened with metal along its body, is easy to fold and expand and features a long square with a narrowed end.
“According to the study, this fishing trap originates from China and Vietnam. Previously, we only saw sea fishermen using it. However, freshwater fishermen have begun using it without restrictions in rivers."
“The directive said that police officials have to charge perpetrators using the new fishing trap under Article 98 of the Law on Fisheries which states that the perpetrator shall be punished with three to five years in prison,” Hy said.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said in the directive that the new fishing tool is not listed in current laws, hindering crackdowns on its use. He also expressed concern about the use of the tool in Cambodia waters.
Takeo provincial fisheries administration director Sao Kosal told The Post that the new fishing tool is imported from Vietnam and most of the fishing community members living on the Cambodia-Vietnam border have used them for three years.
“We have intercepted and arrested the perpetrators who use the above illegal fishing trap. Our team has classified this fishing trap as an illegal fishing device, as stated in ministry’s announcement,” Kosal said.