Good fish catch expected in Cambodia

Good fish catch expected in Cambodia

Cambodian fishermen on Tonle Sap using traditional black nets in December 2011. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Cambodian fishermen on Tonle Sap using traditional black nets in December 2011. (Bangkok Post file photo)

PHNOM PENH - Government officials are predicting a good catch of fish, typically used to make <i>prahok</i>, a salted and fermented fish paste, this season due to higher water levels in the Tonle Sap Lake and river.

The fishing season, which began on Thursday and lasts until February, will see higher yields especially in January, said Eng Chea San, director-general of the Agriculture Ministry’s fisheries administration. 

“Up to now, the yield of fish has been low, but come January the yield is expected to be high,”  Mr Chea San told the Khmer Times.

“Now we have fish being captured in some areas, but the yield isn’t very much.”

The level of Tonle Sap River and lake was expected to be two metres higher this year than the same period last year.  “The rise in water level will enable them to catch more fish,” he said. 

Ngin Dy, a Phnom Penh fisheries administration official, said, “In the Chrang Chamres area, we recorded about 150kg of fish being caught a day but the fish were mostly small ones.” Chang Chamres is a commune in the northern region of Phnom Penh. 

Fishery Action Coalition Team’s Tonle Sap project coordinator Minh Bunly echoed the optimistic predictions. The higher water level would encourage the fish to breed, he added.

The total catch of freshwater fish in Cambodia last year was 751,000 tonnes, with the Tonle Sap Lake and River contributing to more than half the figure, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

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