Illegally caught baby fish released in crackdown

By: Khouth Sophak Chakrya

Fishery Administration officials yesterday released 150 kilograms of baby fish seized during a crackdown on illegal fishing at the Kaher and Chamny Plerung lakes in Kandal’s Sa’ang district.

Sa’ang Phnom commune police official Khem Penh confirmed the release of the fish and that “all the illegal fishing materials have been burned”.

Penh, who said he is concerned that this year’s drought is reducing fish stocks, said that widespread illegal fishing means local authorities are joining forces to patrol lakes and rivers.

But the crimes still occur daily, Penh continued, citing a seizure of illegal fishing materials on Monday.

Local fishermen say it is increasingly difficult to live off the water.

“Ten years ago, I used only 50 fishing hooks and 15 metres of nets, and I could fish 10 kilos per day at least, but such a method is not effective anymore” said local fisherman Lanh Pho, 56.

“Cambodia has less fish, and if we do not use the mosquito net, we will not be able to support our families,” he added, referring to a banned practice used to catch small fish that experts warn damages fish stocks.