Gov’t Officials Expect High Fish Yield
Government officials are predicting a better haul of fish, typically used to make prahok, this season due to higher water levels in the Tonle Sap Lake and River.
The fishing season, which began on Thursday and is expected to last until February, will see higher yields especially in January, said Eng Chea San, director-general of the Agriculture Ministry’s fisheries administration.
“Up to now, the yield of fish has been less but come January the yield is expected to be high,” said Mr. Chea San.
“Now we have seen fish being captured in some areas but the yield isn’t very much.”
He explained that the water levels in the Tonle Sap River and lake is expected to be two meters higher compared to the same period last year.
“The rise in water level this year will enable them to catch more fish,” he said.
Ngin Dy, a Phnom Penh fisheries administration official, added that in just under a week since the season began, there had already been over 100 kilograms of fish being caught with more expected to follow suit.
“At the Chrang Chamres area, we recorded about 150 kilograms of fish being caught a day and the fish were mostly small ones,” Mr. Dy said, referring to a commune in the northern region of Phnom Penh.
“The amount of fish captured this year will be higher than that of last year because this year we have higher water levels than last year,” he added.
Fishery Action Coalition Team’s Tonle Sap project coordinator Minh Bunly echoed the government officials’ statements, adding that higher water levels will encourage the fish to breed thus increasing its population in the lake and river.
“Based on our research in some parts of the Tonle Sap Lake, we noticed that the number of fish has increased. Therefore it is expected the fish yield this year will also increase due to the Tonle Sap Lake’s water level allowing for the fish to spawn,” he said.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, the total catch of freshwater fish in the Kingdom last year was 751,000 tons, with the Tonle Sap Lake and River contributing to more than half the figure.
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