The Agriculture Ministry has warned against the use of illegal fishing equipment during the closed fishing season which begins next month.
Eng Cheasan, chief of the fisheries administration at the ministry, said yesterday that the fishing season for 2018 would close for five months from June 1 until October 31.
“The fisheries administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries wants to inform the public and fishermen of the closed fishing season in the freshwater fishing domains such as in Kampong Cham province, Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Ratanakkiri, Mondolkiri, Preah Vihear, Pailin, Oddor Meanchey, Phnom Penh, Kandal, Prey Veng, Takeo, Kampong Speu and Svay Rieng province,” he said.
Mr Cheasan said that during the closed season, fishermen could use only equipment for family fishing that the state allowed.
“Please, everyone, join in protection and conservation of our fisheries,” Mr Cheasan said. “We hope that the public and all fishermen will comply with this announcement in order to participate in taking care of and protecting fisheries resources for our next generation.”
Lay Visith, director of the agriculture department in Pursat province, said yesterday that fishing with illegal equipment still occurred in the closed season but on a small scale.
“Of course, normally there is still illegal fishing using illegal equipment that is hidden from authorities, but there is not much,” he said. “We keep an eye out for it and take action by cracking down on the fishermen or citizens who fish illegally in the closed season.”
He said that during the closed season, most people in the provinces caught fish using equipment for their families that the state allowed.
The ministry reported last year that the number of illegal fisheries shut down by authorities totalled almost 4,000 cases, a 7.5 percent increase on the same period in 2016. There were 3,888 cases of fresh water offences and 37 of sea water offences.
It said authorities destroyed 150 kilometres of nets, while 80,000 kilograms of fish were released. Authorities fined offenders a total of 230,665,000 riel, or about $60,000.