News / Asia

Illegal Fishing Threatens Tonle Sap Lake Villagers' Livelihood

Livelihood of Villagers Along Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake Threatenedi
|| 0:00:00
X
Say Mony
October 10, 2012 8:45 PM
Villagers on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, who depend on fishing for subsistence, say their livelihoods are threatened by illegal commercial fishing, which continues after a government ban. And they say authorities in charge of enforcing the ban are being bribed to look the other way. More in this report from Say Mony of VOA’s Khmer Service -- narrated by Wayne Bowman.
Say Mony
Villagers on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, who depend on fishing for subsistence, say their livelihoods are threatened by illegal commercial fishing, which continues after a government ban.  And they say authorities in charge of enforcing the ban are being bribed to look the other way. 

Despite a government ban on commercial fishing across Tonle Sap Lake - the largest lake in Southeast Asia -- fishing communities say bribery of corrupt local officials has meant the illegal practice is actually increasing.

The ban was meant to decrease the rapid overfishing of the lake, a major source of food for much of the country.

Mao Penh, the head of one local fishing community, says law enforcement officials are “colluding” with illegal fishing operations.

“One side took the money and closed their eyes while the other went for the illegal fishing.  The law enforcement officials are colluding with offenders; that's 50-50. This is what's happening in my village these days,” he said.

This commune, made up of five floating villages, is home to more than 2,000 families -- most of whom depend on fishing for their daily lives.

Commune chief Bun Peng admits that bribery is a problem.  He says there is no legal framework to enforce the ban on fishing -- but then said he would “eradicate” the practice by the end of the year,  without elaborating.

“Institutions or officials are still involved [in taking bribery] in my commune, but from now on till the end of 2012, I will absolutely eradicate them,” he stated.

Meanwhile, local officials from the Ministry of Agriculture’s fisheries administration deny such corruption takes place.

“Regarding this issue, the authority like the fishery administration are not involved or do not collude with offenders; no, there is none,” said Yuth Tan, deputy chief of fisheries at Preak Tol.

And yet, illegal fishing occurs here. A visitor can see it happening.  A Vietnamese fisherman says recently that his group had paid a local official named “Ly” around $50 in exchange for a “permit” to use an illegal net hundreds of meters in length.

A nearby fisheries official named Mao Peng Ly denied being involved.

“I cannot accept it because I do not know the offenders," he explained. "And I never was involved with them.”

In the gap between what is happening and what fisheries officials say is happening are the local villagers who rely on fish to survive - and who say they want the illegal practices stopped.

Video narrated by Wayne Bowman.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Muhammad Tariq Ghouri from: Pakistan
October 15, 2012 4:04 AM
Now a days corruption is main problem all around the world, It is not only Cambodia's issue. When bribe culture grow in any society, it's negative effects hit the poor life dangerously, and they became more poorer, It throw the economy of the county in uncertain condition.


by: Anonymous
October 10, 2012 11:59 PM
Cambodia is a country where corruption is an institution., It can't be eliminated regardless of who is running the country. It exists from the top all the way down to the villages. This is the case in many countries, but few examples are as endemic as Cambodia.


by: kd
October 10, 2012 7:05 PM
It is going to be tough to eradicate corruption there if all officials and institutions are involved. Under hun sen's administration, it is impossible to rid of corruption if the top people like hun sen and his cronies all corrupted themselves.

In Response

by: Kk
October 11, 2012 5:37 PM
Yes, it starts from the top. Hun Sen and his advisers are at the top of everything and is continually doing damage and more damage as each day passes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid