Cambodia cracks down on illegal fishing, land grabbing

The two are constant irritants as well as key issues during the campaign for upcoming commune elections.

Cambodian police have detained 130 people on suspicion of illegal fishing following a crackdown ordered by Prime Minister Hun Sen due to warnings about depleting national resources.

The warnings from the Royal Academy of Cambodia said that unchecked illegal fishing was depleting national resources. About 65 million people living in the Lower Mekong Basin rely on fishing as their major source of protein and have complained bitterly about depleting fish stocks, which has been blamed on water shortages and illegal fishing.

Illegal fishing along with land grabbing are constant sources of irritation as well as key issues as the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) gears up for the June 5 elections in 1,652 communes — clusters of three to 30 villages — facing a challenge from some 15 political parties in June.

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