Pursat provincial police and fishery administration officials cracked down on a large scale illegal fishing operation along Tonle Sap lake and seized equipment including over 5,300 fishing nets in Kandieng district’s Raing Til commune.
District police chief Liv Seng Him yesterday said that Sunday’s crackdown involved around 20 officers who searched the Prek Kampong Kuch and Prek Tul areas along the lake in the commune’s Cha Rus village.
Mr Seng Him said that the officers seized the nets and about 2,500 poles and also released 150 kilograms of fish back into the Tonle Sap.
“We did not find the owners of the equipment, but we suspect that they were locals,” he said. “The fishing nets were put up although it is not the fishing season.”
Mr Seng Him noted that police burnt all seized equipment at the site and appealed to people not to fish illegally to avoid legal action and losing their equipment.
According to a report from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, there were 3,925 cases of illegal fishing last year, a 7.5 percent rise from the 3,888 cases recorded in 2016.
It added that authorities collected than $57,000 from offenders, destroyed 150 kilometers of fishing nets and released 80,000 kilograms of fish.