‘Mud, muck and death’: Cambodia’s plan to obstruct trawlers and revive local fishing

On Cambodia’s coast, a local NGO is building concrete underwater structures in an effort to deter destructive illegal trawlers that kill most everything in the habitat.

Trudging through a tangle of mangrove roots and muddy water, Taing Kry grimaced and howled as he and a partner shifted the weight of a 120-kilogram (265-pound) concrete pillar from their shoulders onto a plastic raft in the shallows of Trapang Ropov, a rundown fishing village on Cambodia’s southern coast.

“This is a tractor’s work,” Kry called, as two mates stood on a gangplank above him, smoking cigarettes and cracking jokes. “We know,” one of them spat back. “Give us $50 and we will go to the district office and change your name officially … to Mr. Tractor.”

A few miles out to sea, divers wearing weight belts over torn, ill-fitting wetsuits walked around on the seafloor stacking a previous load of pillars into a meter (3-foot) tall hexagonal structure. It’s the latest tactic to resuscitate a community fishery riled by illegal trawlers, whose weighted, often electrified, nets kill, catch or destroy everything in their path, including the very seabed habitat upon which marine life depends.

In full: https://news.mongabay.com/2023/07/mud-muck-and-death-cambodias-plan-to-obstruct-trawlers-and-revive-local-fishing/

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