The Fight To Save Dolphins From Illegal Fishing

Stung Treng: Illegal fishing practices still continue, which may affect freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River.

Lay Chhun, the chief of Tbeng Khla village in Siem Bouk distict, told reporters that despite the crack downs from authorities, they were ineffective because some are still secretly engaged in illegal fishing, using prohibited fishing gear and even bombs every day.

The village chief added that people are often afraid to report such incidents as the illegal fisherman threaten to harm them. There are also stories of fishery officials cooperating with the criminals to tip them off about patrols in the area before they arrive.

Vong Savoeun, Deputy Director of Stung Treng Fisheries District, acknowledged that these offenses really happened, and said that sometimes his men are forced to use weapons when facing violence on the river.

The challenge, he said, is that officials cannot take full responsibility, but need the help of local people.

The Stung Treng Fisheries Deputy Director said: “We urge all fishermen to join in the implementation of the law. All of us, because it is an important national heritage. (We have) one of the rare species of freshwater dolphins in the world. With us then, you fishermen in those protected areas, please follow the Fisheries Law and try to fish according to the law.” KBN

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