The Battambang Provincial Administration announced that the freshwater fishing season will be closed from June 1 to September 30. The closure is to maintain and protect fishing resources and reduce illegal fishing.
Provincial deputy governor Soeum Bunrith told The Post on June 13 that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has informed other municipal and provincial administrations about the closures including Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Oddar Meanchey, Pailin, Pursat, Ratanakkiri, Siem Reap, Tbong Khmum, and parts of Phnom Penh and Kandal province located north of the Chaktomuk River.
Bunrith said that after the announcement, the provincial authorities told communities to stop fishing. If they continued, it would be a violation of the law and authorities would take legal action. During this time, all fishermen are prohibited from using illegal fishing methods.
“Specialists and local authorities who take money from people and allow them to commit fishing offences would be subject to legal action. Anyone involved with offenders, illegal fishing in flooded forests, and logging offences must stop immediately. If illegal activities continue, perpetrators will face the law without any exception,” Bunrith said.
Provincial agriculture department director Chhim Vachira said freshwater areas in conservation parks and management areas of the province cover nearly 200,000ha.
Hor Sam Ath, deputy head of Sdei Kraom Rohal Suong Fishing community in Ek Phnom district’s Prek Luong commune, said closing the fishing season might be taken by some people as a stop to fishing. It is only temporary measure to reduce illegal fishing.
He supported the move, saying authorities have to manage freshwater areas efficiently to prevent illegal fishing, especially in conservation areas.