Authorities yesterday chased a Vietnamese fishing boat suspected of conducting illegal fishing off the coast of Preah Sihanouk province.
Police reported that a Vietnamese trawler was damaged during the operation conducted by Cambodian coastal guards.
Lieutenant General Teng Soun, director of the sea border department at the Interior Ministry, confirmed his coastal guards were alerted to the illegal fishing boat crossing maritime borders into Cambodia’s territory.
Lt Gen Soun said that a patrol boat, carrying 12 police officers, was dispatched to check the illegal fishing activity.
“A Vietnamese fishing boat was discovered and suspected of illegal fishing in Cambodian waters near Koh Seh island at about 5.00am,” he said.
He said the team of coastal guards chased the boat and attempted to force it to stop.
“One warning shot was fired, but the fishing boat did not stop and managed to escape into Vietnamese water,” Lt Gen Soun said.
According to an annual report from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, there were 3,925 reported cases of illegal fishing in both maritime and freshwater areas last year, an increase of 7.5 percent compared to 2016.
It added officials destroyed a large amount of illegal fishing equipment, such as barrier nets, electro-fishing devices and other fishing tools, while 80,000 kilograms of fish were released.
Major General Chuon Narin, provincial police chief, declined to comment on the raid.