Low Mekong waters make life hard around Cambodia’s smaller lakes

While Tonle Sap is recognised as a resource worthy of protection, countless other lakes, ponds and wetlands also depend on Mekong flooding but are dwindling away unnoticed.

For more than 15 years, Chhoeun Hoeum has been plying the waters of Veal Samnab lake. In recent years, his catch – and income – has grown smaller, falling alongside the water levels of the lake system.

Locals say that the lake, which is just across the Mekong River from Phnom Penh, was once filled with water even in the dry season, providing fish for locals and even a route for ferries that could transport hundreds of people. Veal Samnab has long been known as one of Cambodia’s largest lakes, covering more than 1,000 hectares.

“[Now] there are less and less fish,” Hoeum laments, dragging an empty net out of the shallow water of a stream that feeds into Veal Samnab. “Before we could fish all year long. We could get fish from the time the water was going up to the time the water went down… But now [it’s February] and the water has already dried up.”

In full: https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/livelihoods/low-mekong-waters-make-life-hard-for-fishers-in-cambodias-smaller-lakes/

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