The Agriculture Ministry’s Fisheries Administration yesterday said that prahok makers should rush to produce fermented fish paste and smoked fish as catches are currently high.
Eng Chea San, director general for the Fishery Administration, said that in the 2019-2020 fishing season, water from Tonle Sap lake receded fast, which has never happened before.
He said that the rapid recession of water levels in Tonle Sap river makes it easier for a stretch of the river in Phnom Penh and Kandal provinces to offer high catches from yesterday to December 9.
“The Fisheries Administration want to call on prahok and smoked fish producers to come and buy fish now,” he said.
Sotha Rith, owner of stationary bag nets in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, said people have not yet come to buy fish to make prahok.
Mr Rith said that fishing yields this year seem to be lower than last year’s due to low water level, which makes it hard for fishermen to have high catches.
“In the previous years, when we placed stationary bag nets across the river, we could get between 300 and 500 kilogrammes of fish in 15 or 20 minutes,” he said. “But this year, we can get about 100 kilogrammes of fish in one hour.”
“I don’t know clearly why. Maybe tomorrow [Friday] and Monday, there are lots of fish,” he said.
According to the Agriculture Ministry’s report, in 2018, the harvest of freshwater fish was more than 16,000 tonnes while saltwater fish was more than 110,000 tonnes.