Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WCS Cambodia creates community fisheries to recruit local patrol teams

WCS Cambodia creates community fisheries to recruit local patrol teams

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fishing boats dock along the Sre Ambel riverbank in Koh Kong province. Heng Chivoan

WCS Cambodia creates community fisheries to recruit local patrol teams

Early this month, the Koh Kong provincial Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Cambodia) agreed to establish five new community fisheries in Koh Kong province’s eastern Sre Ambel district.

The agreement is to allow fishermen to join the department in conserving fisheries resources in localities. Today, there are 10 community fisheries in Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk provinces.

Koh Kong provincial fisheries specialists and WCS Cambodia employees will brief the community fishermen on the principles, skills and new knowledge they need.

Provincial agriculture department director Y Meng Leang said on December 9 that late last month, the department helped community fishermen to submit letters applying for legal patrolling status to the ministry.

He said fisheries specialists have been patrolling the new community fisheries since early this month. With the completed groundwork by the specialists, local fishermen will begin to take part in patrolling the main target areas as planned.

“Community members [fishermen] have no right to arrest offenders. However, they can help [fisheries] specialists by providing information on illegal activities to the judicial police for them to carry out crackdowns. They are residents, so they should be the first to know [or hear of any fishing] offences,” Meng Leang said.

On December 9, WCS Cambodia programme director Ken Sereyrotha said the establishment of community fisheries is part of the “Partners Against Wildlife Crime” project.

The project is co-funded by EU, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, US Forest Service and Rainforest Trust.

He said new fisheries are geared towards enabling local fishermen to play a more active role in protecting fisheries resources, especially the conservation of Royal Turtles (Batagur affinis) and Siamese crocodiles.

Another goal is to improve the living standards of these fishermen.

“Once the legal documents for these community fisheries have been issued, [officials] will mark their boundaries. Each community will send these documents to the agriculture ministry to be officially listed in its database by early next year,” he said.

Tonh Pov, head of the recently established Bak Angrut fishing community in Koh Kong province, said on December 9 that he is happy to lend a helping hand in conserving natural resources within his community.

He added that having gained approval from the provincial fisheries department, his group had joined fisheries enforcement officers in patrolling target areas multiple times and spotted many fishing offences. Pov’s community patrol team burned some tools used for illegal fishing activities.

“Before patrolling the target areas, WCS Cambodia employees and fisheries officials briefed the group about procedures of patrolling the forest and waterways.

“They also taught us about the work of conserving natural resources. Besides the patrols, we joined the officers in disseminating natural resources conservation knowledge to other villagers,” 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,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • 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

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • 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

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group