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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fish stock in northeastern Cambodia to be sustainably managed by local people

On 11 June, 2010 Mondulkiri province's Fisheries Administration Cantonment officially transferred management rights of the Sen Kangha Community Fishery to local Indigenous people living along the Srepok river in Koh Myeul Leu and Koh Myeul Krom villages of Koh Nhek district. Representatives from both parties signed a three-year long agreement aiming at sustainable management and use of local fishery resource.

With support from WWF, the signing ceremony was organized by the Fisheries Administration Cantonment at their office in Sen Monorom town and was attended by 60 participants from the Provincial Governor's Office, Fisheries Administration, Sen Kangha Community Fishery, WWF and many other local authorities.

His Excellency Chan Yieun, Governor of Mondulkiri, who presided over the ceremony, encouraged effective implementation of the agreement and urged all members of the Sen Kangha Community Fishery to sustainably manage and conserve fish stocks for long term benefit.

"I would like to ask all relevant authorites, especially the Fisheries Administration Cantonment, to cooperate with and provide support to the Sen Kangha Community Fishery in effectively implementing the Fisheries Law, National Strategy on Fisheries Management and other fishery-related regulations," the Governor said as he was delivering the opening speech at the event.

Rapid population growth and illegal fishing practices have led to over-fishing and falling fish yields. Due to the high dependency on fisheries for local livelihoods and food security, the Forestry Administration in collaboration with WWF, have been supporting the establishment of the Sen Kangha Community Fishery since 2007.

"With decreased fish yields observed over the past years due to illegal fishing activities, local communities are worried about potential disappearance of some fish species," said Mr Moul Phath, WWF’s Provincial Conservation Planning Specialist.

The community fishery provides an opportunity for people in Koh Myeul Leu and Koh Myeul Krom villages to conserve fish resources for their long term benefit.

In his speech, the Governor also highlighted that many of Mondulkiri's important zones of natural fish stocks, especially in Koh Nhek district, could, if managed sustainably, supply enough fish to meet the provincial consumption, as well as support other people living at the border of Ratanakiri province.

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