Police Shut Down Siem Reap Snakehead Fish Farm

Following the seizure of about 100,000 snakehead fish from a van in Siem Reap province last week, police on Tuesday afternoon raided the fish farm where the illegal fry came from, according to deputy provincial police chief Oum Amra.

“In the past, we did not think that farm was feeding snakehead fish,” he said of the farm in Siem Reap City’s Siem Reap commune.

“But after we busted the van, we knew the owner was lying to us.”

Mr. Amra said police had already seized 20,000 newly-hatched snakehead fish from ponds at the farm, which he said is owned by Thang Viet, 47, and estimated that a total of 100,000 of the species was being raised there.

“The fish farm owner claimed he just started to raise that fish recently, but based on our investigation he operated it for nearly a year,” he said.

Mr. Amra said Mr. Viet was ordered to go to the provincial fisheries department to be fined.

The Agriculture Ministry banned the farming of snakehead fish in 2005 because the ravenous fish’s appetite for smaller species posed a danger to freshwater fish stocks.

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