Fishing Ban Approaches for Breeding Period

In an attempt to protect Cam­bodia’s waters from overfishing, government officials are ordering all commercial fishing equipment pulled from provincial waters as this year’s fishing ban approaches.

The ban on commercial fishing begins June 1 and runs through the end of September, a breeding period during which only subsistence fishing is allowed.

Officials in Siem Reap province have already ordered commercial equipment dragged from the water, provincial agriculture director Tat Bunchoeun said.

Fishing lot operators and commercial fishermen are asked to declare their fish stocks—the total tonnage of fish caught in season and kept in a holding pond for export—before the ban comes into effect.

“If the stocks increase after June 1 we will take measures,” Tat Bunchoeun said.

Battambang province officials said fishing lot operators and commercial fishermen have also been asked to take all equipment from the water, and that fish stocks are targeted for inspection.

To mark the start of the ban, Battambang fisheries officials in Prey Chas commune, Ek Phnom district, are scheduled to burn 50 batteries used for electrocuting fish.

Touch Seang Tana, an undersecretary of state and a member of the economic, social and cultural observation unit at the Council of Ministers, said the ban would be successful only if provincial fisheries officials are willing to enforce it.

Last year, at least 30 tons of fish possibly caught during the ban were sold daily to Thailand through the Poipet border crossing. Another 30 tons of fish were sold to Phnom Penh, according to Touch Seang Tana.

Provincial fishery officials ought to be assigned to inspect all fish depots in order to ensure the ban is being enforced, Touch Seang Tana said.



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