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Fishing banned after villages’ dispute mediated

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Kampong Tralach district authorities in Kampong Chhnang province ordered the demolition of the Lorpeang Natural Resources Conservation Community in Boeng Por Lake and ordered a temporary halt to fishing. Supplied

A temporary ban on fishing was ordered yesterday by Kampong Tralach district authorities to prevent violence while mediation continues to resolve a dispute between the people of three villages and Lorpeang Natural Resources Conservation community. The authorities also ordered the demolition of the community guardhouse in a large natural lake which had been erected to prevent illegal fishing.

San Sam Ath, deputy governor of Kampong Tralach district, said  the temporary ban on fishing and the dismantling of the guardhouse was decided after the mediation began between villagers and community leaders.

Nguon Nhoeun, the President of Lorpeang Natural Resources Conservation Community, said yesterday that the community was formed to protect the natural resources in Boeng Por Lake from illegal fishing.

“In the past, when there was illegal fishing in the lake, the authorities did not help prevent it,” Nhoeun told Khmer Times.

“Since Lorpeang Natural Resources Conservation Community was established in 2019, it prevents all kinds of illegal fishing such as the use of electric gear and fishing in prohibited places,” he said.

Nhoeun said the community would continue to seek intervention from provincial authorities.

Sam Chankea, Adhoc’s coordinator in Kampong Chhnang province, said yesterday that for this case, his organisation dealt with both villagers and the community members.

Chankea said: “On our side [Adhoc], we are only monitoring this case. But in my own view, to avoid conflict or violence between the villagers and the community members, the community should move the guardhouse first and cooperate with the district authorities to patrolling any fishing offences.”

The lake covers an area of more than 47 hectares and provides many benefits to people living in five villages who enjoy harvesting vegetables and fishing.

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