Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM orders Tonle Sap heli patrols

PM orders Tonle Sap heli patrols

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Pursat provincial authorities crack down on illegal fishing in the Tonle Sap Lake on March 9. FACEBOOK

PM orders Tonle Sap heli patrols

Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the military to use helicopter patrols to prevent fisheries-related crimes around the Tonle Sap Lake and to help apprehend any large-scale fisheries offenders and prosecute them to ensure the sustainability of the lake’s fish population.

The orders came on the evening of March 23 at the closing of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries annual meeting to review last year’s work and plan for 2022.

Speaking at the event, the premier said the Fisheries Administration had only managed to stop fishing offences involving individual fishermen using small boats and that they had not been able to stop the groups committing large-scale offences.

Hun Sen further pointed out that this was also the problem with their attempts to stop illegal logging in the past. They would arrest individuals cutting down trees to use personally as firewood while failing to apprehend the large-scale traders and organised loggers cutting down big trees.

“Can’t we crack down on these corrupt traders? Or maybe we can’t because our officials take bribes?” he said.

He added that sometimes corrupt officials would leak plans for law enforcement operations to the perpetrators so they would be prepared to flee from authorities using boats they claimed were too fast for authorities to catch up with.

He ordered the elimination of the corrupt traders who were committing fisheries crimes and destroying the fish population in the Tonle Sap Lake to protect the long-term sustainability of the Tonle Sap fisheries resources for use by the people.

“Just how fast are the motorboats of those rogue traders? We’ll find out. I ordered the use of helicopters and have deployed the navy to catch them and put them in jail. We do not need to go easy on these perpetrators.

“What’s important is whether you succeed or not. If you cannot stop these fishing criminals then you don’t need to be a provincial governor – nor even a government official, police chief or military police commander,” he said.

Hun Sen, who recently rallied government forces to crack down on encroachment of the lake’s wetlands, instructed all relevant ministries and institutions around Tonle Sap Lake to reforest over 60,000 ha that has been confiscated from offenders thus far.

He further said that the encroachment must not happen again because those areas are reserved as fish-spawning habitat and that he expected that within the next three years the restored areas would be good spawning grounds for the fish once again.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Newest horror film showcases unique Khmer culture, identity

    At first glance, the trailer to new horror sensation The Ritual: Black Nun looks like a western-produced feature film. As the story reveals itself to the viewers, it becomes clearer that this is a Khmer film, with a strong Cambodian identity and close links to

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the