Cambodia begins temporary commercial fishing ban

Phnom Penh, June 1 (IANS) An annual temporary ban on commercial fishing began in Cambodia on Wednesday in an effort to prevent the disruption of mating practices and preserve dwindling fish stocks.

Under Cambodia’s 2006 Law on Fisheries, the fishing season is suspended every year between June 1 and September 30 for areas north of Phnom Penh, and from July 1 to October 31 in the south, EFE news reported.

The annual ban is aimed at giving fish stocks a chance to reproduce and replenish.

While the law states that “middle-scale and industrial fishing” are banned during the closed season, individuals fishing to feed themselves and their families are allowed to continue using small fishing gear.

In previous years, small-scale fishermen have complained of being unable to catch anything without using larger gear during the spawning season, while officials have acknowledged that enforcing the ban in a country as fish-dependant as Cambodia is difficult.

A World Bank report last year named Cambodia as one of the “fishing dependant” countries at risk because “fishing activities are poorly regulated” and “are very vulnerable to the combined impact of climate change and overexploitation”.

–IANS

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