Vietnamese fishermen arrested

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
The fishermen who were caught in a conservation area. Supplied

Officials from the fisheries administration arrested two Vietnamese fishermen and seized their illegal fishing tools on Saturday in Pursat province’s Krakor district.
 
The pair – Nguyen Yaingyec, 18, and Nguyen Yaingtev, 14 – were arrested at about 9:30am while they were fishing illegally in a Tonle Sap lake conservation area.
 
Kampong Luong fisheries administration chief Pin Vuthy told Khmer Times that the arrest was carried out in accordance with the kingdom’s Fisheries Law.
 
“We arrested those Vietnamese nationals and caught their fishing boat while our officials were doing a regular patrol of our conservation areas,” he said.
 
He added that fisheries officials also impounded more than 550 meters of fishing nets and illegal fishing equipment. “Officials also confiscated about 35 kilograms of small fish that had been caught,” he said.
 
“After questioning, we sent them to the provincial court yesterday to take legal action against them following our Cambodian laws.”
 
Fishermen are strictly forbidden from entering conservation areas, added Mr. Vuthy.
 
“We don’t allow any fishermen to fish in the fishery conservation areas, even crossing [the area] is banned.”
 
In late December, Interior Minister Sar Kheng publically warned government officials in areas surrounding the Tonle Sap lake that they would be fired if they continued to allow illegal fishing.
 
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the “2016 Annual Working Results and the Direction of 2017” at the Siem Reap Provincial Hall, he demanded that provincial governors do more to stop fishing crimes in the Tonle Sap lake.
 
“All provincial governors around the Tonle Sap lake will be dismissed from their positions if they let fishing crimes occur in their provinces,” he was quoted as saying on the National Police website.
 
In 2011, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a halt to the private exploitation of 35 fishing zones in the provinces surrounding the Tonle Sap lake, including Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang, Siem Reap and Kampong Thom provinces.
 
He said that 77 percent of the lake’s fishing zones were designated for fishermen, but the remaining 23 percent had to be kept as protected areas.
 
The government has repeatedly implored fishermen to stop illegal fishing activities, including the removal of fishing lots intended to maintain and improve the resources available there, but offenders remain brazen and undeterred.

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