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Fish Harvest Likely to Rise: Official

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Fishermen unload a catch from the Tonle Sap during last year’s fishing season.KT/ Mai Vireak

The volume of fish harvested from the Tonle Sap Lake is likely to rise in the fishing season that starts today due to better weather conditions,  a senior official from Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry told Khmer Times yesterday. 

An announcement from General Directorate of the Fishery Administration said the early season for the Tonle Sap will be open for just nine days, until December 24.  

Eang Sophalleth, secretary of state at the ministry, said that a test on a fish lot along the banks of the lake found a high volume of fish compared to previous seasons. However, he said, that the ministry could not yet make a projection for the season because the test was conducted in just one lot.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next four days [before making a forecast] … We don’t know exactly on how many tons we will get, but we got two tons from one lot, which is much more than previous seasons,” Mr. Sophalleth said. 

“We have never caught this amount and it is early [for fishing]. This is a good start for us, so we expect production will rise over previous years.” 

The announcement informs people who wanted to make fish paste, called prahok in Khmer, or catch fish to dry for annual consumption to be ready for the opening of the season. It also asks local officials to ensure that it is easy for people to travel and stay at fishing spots and easy to transport fish.

Last year, about 700,000 tons of fish were harvested, of which about 400,000 tons were exported, according to official figures, which put the amount of fish produced from aquaculture at about 12 percent of the total caught.   

The fishing season starts in early October for areas north of Phnom Penh. The fishing season started this month in the south. The various fishing seasons run until the end of May.

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