Eleven Ethnic Vietnamese Arrested For Illegal Fishing on Tonle Sap

Military police and Fisheries officials in Siem Reap province on Thursday arrested 11 ethnic Vietnamese fishing illegally on the Tonle Sap, an official said.

The 11 were using outlawed electrocution equipment and small-hole nets in an area threatened by overfishing, according to Eng Cheasan, the Fisheries Administration’s director-general, who said he did not know the culprits’ identities. 

The suspects, from Kampong Klang commune’s floating village in Chi Kraeng district, were arrested at about 1.30 p.m. as they readied boats with an assortment of banned equipment, he said.

“The fishermen were arrested for illegal fishing with nine boats and evidence of small-hole nets and electric equipment,” he said, adding that they were also fishing during a seasonal ban implemented to protect dwindling fish stocks.

Commune chief Pa Po said villagers alerted authorities to the fishermen’s activities in an area where climate change had drastically reduced fish stocks.

“We have sent the suspects to the Siem Reap military police headquarters in Siem Reap,” he said. “All of them will be jailed for between 1 and 3 years, according to the Fisheries Law.”

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