Official: Fish Nursery Needed

The government should en­cou­rage catfish nurseries by al­lowing limited catches of the mi­gratory fish in an attempt to cut their losses to Vietnamese fishermen, who catch the fish after they spawn in Cambodia and swim to Vietnam, fishery officials have said.

Vietnamese fishing the Me­kong breed catfish for a lucrative export business with Austra­lia and Malaysia.

Touch Seang Tana, a fisheries specialist  for the Ministry of Agri­culture, Forestry and Fish­eries, suggested that catfish could be bred in Kratie and Kompong Cham provinces where the water is suitable for nurseries and could provide for appropriate markets.

Fisheries Department Director Nao Thuok said the department will send a request to allow the breeding of catfish to the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Ministry of Agriculture should consider the issue by allowing fishermen to hook catfish for subsistence living be­cause they could migrate to Viet­nam,” said Touch Seang Tana.

It is currently illegal to catch baby catfish in Cambodia, though authorities have repeatedly confiscated thousands of fingerlings. Some 50,000 baby confiscated catfish were released recently in Kandal province.

Illegal fishing activities have de­clined since fisheries officials be­gan monitoring fishing areas during spawning season, which runs from June 1 to Sept 30, officials said.



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