Fisheries authority bans short mackerel fishing

The Fisheries Administration under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will close fishing for short mackerel in Cambodian waters from January 15 to March 31 this year, according to an announcement seen by The Post on January 10.

It said the reason for the closure is the onset of the short mackerel’s spawning season and that the Fisheries Administration strictly prohibits fishing for short mackerel – known by its scientific name Rastrelliger brachysoma – in its territorial waters during spawning in order to preserve and protect Cambodia’s marine fisheries resources.

Kampot provincial Fisheries Administration chief Sar Sorin told The Post on January 10 that officials had circulated the announcement in the fishing communities along the coast to make them aware of the ban.

“We educate and guide them to understand the importance of why we close down fishing during spawning season, and we advise them to change their fishing equipment to catch something other than short mackerel, because there are a lot of other fish [species] in our seas,” Sorin said.

According to Em Phea, total fishery output in 2020 for Preah Sihanouk province had not decreased at all compared to 2019. He said the total fishing haul was 47,322 tonnes in 2019 and 48,812 tonnes in 2020 – an increase of about two per cent.

According to the agriculture ministry report in 2020, Cambodia produced 936,300 tonnes of fishery products, including more than 410,000 tonnes of freshwater products, more than 120,000 tonnes of marine products and more than 400,000 tonnes of aquaculture products.

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