Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two fishermen in hot water after breaking fishing ban

Two fishermen in hot water after breaking fishing ban

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
WCS Cambodia and Fisheries Administration officials collect illegal fishing nets in Kratie province earlier this month. WCS CAMBODIA

Two fishermen in hot water after breaking fishing ban

Kratie provincial authorities have referred two suspects to court for illegally fishing the Mekong River during the fishing ban, which was implemented on June 1 and is in force until the end of September, seizing more than 50,000 sqm of fishing nets.

Mok Ponlok, director of the provincial Fisheries Administration, told The Post on August 10 that since the ban on fishing was enforced, authorities have cracked down on about 100 cases of illegal fishing on the river.

Authorities have also confiscated large nets which were placed along a conservation area and removed a large number of bamboo traps and some fishing hooks.

“Two suspects were sent to the provincial court for electrocuting fish and using illegal nets,” he said.

He said illegal fishing along both the Mekong River and the lake had decreased in Kratie province thanks to 11 guard stations manned by 44 members guarding the Mekong River Dolphin Conservation and Fisheries Biodiversity Area.

They have cooperated with fisheries officials, armed forces, local authorities and communities to patrol areas to prevent and crack down on crime.

“Offences have decreased in our area, especially in Anlong Kampi Irrawaddy Dolphin Conservation Area where many dolphins live and congregate,” Ponlok said. “We are very careful with this area because this is where dolphins live and breed. So we guard it carefully.”

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Cambodia), the joint patrol team had conducted a campaign along the river from Kratie to Stung Treng provinces.

The campaign aimed to crack down on illegal fishing which poses a threat to the survival of the critically endangered Cantor’s giant softshell turtle that lives in the area.

“Illegal fishing activities normally increase during the fishing ban period,” WCS said.

As of July 30, the patrol team has covered 4,206km travelling up and down the 48km stretch of the river from Kratie province’s Sambour district to Siem Bouk district of Stung Treng.

In the same period, the patrol team found and confiscated 130 pieces of illegal fishing equipment and destroyed 35 sets of fishing nets.

WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha told The Post on August 10 that his organisation did not crack down on crime but supported the implementation of technical laws and training for local communities and the Fisheries Administration.

Although fisheries offenses have dropped in the past, Serey Ratha observed that it is now starting to increase.

“There is a connection with illegal fishing and the Covid-19 pandemic. We have noticed that it’s active again because some people have lost their jobs and have turned to fishery crimes,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a