The Stung Treng Fisheries Administration announced it will take measures to investigate fishing crimes thoroughly during the closing of the fishing season on May 1. The move, it said, would ensure there will be fish available in Cambodia.
Stung Treng provincial Fisheries Administration chief Tum Niro told The Post on Tuesday that the fishing season would start again from early June till the end of September or from early July to the end of October.
But the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries approved the closure in Stung Treng from early May to the end of September because some fish species in the Mekong River have started to spawn in deep water.
During the closed fishing season, he said, illegal fishing tools and nets are banned even if it is for family fishing.
“In the closed fishing season, the Stung Treng provincial fishery authorities will take measures to check and investigate fishing crimes. This will be achieved by working in collaboration with related authorities and the local fishing community, Niro said.
During last year’s closed fishing season, he said the provincial Fisheries Administration discovered illegal fishing tools and impounded five fishing boats, 10 electric fish shocking tools and five batteries.
It also detained seven offenders for using fish shocking machines while 214 others were ordered not to fish for trading purposes.
Niro said he is concerned about a dramatic decrease in the amount of fish due to illegal fishing in deep waters.
“The deep water of the river is where fish spawn. There are also dolphins there and it is essential to protect and conserve them,” he said.
He called on people in the community to cooperate to protect endangered fish and fish spawning areas or their population would decrease.
According to an observation report from a group of researchers, thanks to strong support from provincial and local authorities, and those in the fishing community, the illegal acts of fishing in Stung Treng province last year decreased by 30 per cent.
Also, more than 3,000 tonnes of endangered fish were rescued which could mean millions more fish in rivers and natural lakes in Cambodia.
Stung Treng provincial governor Mom Saroeun announced the fishing season’s closure and said it was an appropriate measure to protect fish spawning areas.
“For family fishing, hooks and some other traditional fishing tools will be allowed,” he said.
According to the Fisheries Administration calendar, the closed fishing season is supposed to start on June 1 and go on until September 30 for freshwater fish in the northern part of Chaktomuk city.
This includes provinces around the Tonle Sap river and other provinces including Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear, Pailin, Oddar Meanchey, and other parts in Phnom Penh city and Kandal province which are in northern Chaktomuk.
For other provinces near the southern part of Chaktomuk, including Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Takeo, Kampong Speu, and some parts of Phnom Penh city and Kandal province, which is in the southern part of Chaktomuk, the closed season starts on July 1 until October 31.