Fisheries Administration asks fishermen to protect resources in close season

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Fishermen collect fish to sell during the fishing season on Tonle Sap river in Russey Keo district in December last year. Hong Menea

The fishing season will be closed soon and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has called on the people to maintain and protect fishing resources, a statement issued by the Fisheries Administration under the ministry said.

The statement, issued on Tuesday and obtained by The Post on Thursday, said that between June 1 to September 30, all fishing zones in areas north of the chaktomuk, which means “four faces” in Khmer – a term designating the intersection of the Tonle Sap, Bassac, Mekong (from the north) and Meking (from the east) rivers – will be closed to fishing.

The areas include around the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Ratanakkiri, Mondulkiri, Preah Vihear, Pailin and Oddar Meanchey provinces, as well as in Kandal province north of the chaktomuk.

The statement said that between July 1 and October 31, rivers south of the chaktomuk will be closed to fishing. Areas include Phnom Penh and Kandal, Prey Veng, Takeo, Kampong Speu and Svay Rieng provinces.

During the closed season, fishermen will only be allowed to use family-fishing equipment as stated in Prakas 458 on Fishing Close Season issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2012.

Only fishing nets 100m or less in length will be allowed, said the Fisheries Administration statement.

The statement calls on fishermen to strictly abide by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s seven-point instructions. It also urges fishermen to help protect and preserve fishery protected zones, to “preserve fish for the next generation”.

The Coalition of Cambodian Fisheries director Long Sochet told The Post on Thursday that every year before closing the fishing season, the Fisheries Administration issues such a statement.

He said the laws banned only the middle- and large-scale fishing industry, but family-owned operations are allowed to fish during the entire closed season.

“For small-scale fishermen, there would not be a problem. They are allowed to continue.”