Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun announced on July 21 that fishermen can now go about their business, provided they adhere to safety guidelines and keep an eye on the slightly dropping sea levels. The permission was granted following days of tumultuous weather and rough seas.
The governor explained that the current weather conditions, with their marginally reduced waves and persistent rainfall throughout the day, make it suitable for boat travel. However, he emphasised the need for caution among the seafarers given the unpredictable nature of maritime weather.
In addition to granting access, the governor specified that boats venturing out must be equipped with life jackets and have undergone expert inspections. These measures are in place to ensure the safety of the fishermen and other seafarers who will be navigating the seas in these challenging conditions.
Fishermen in the province have been granted permission to take their fishing boats out for a limited duration. This limitation is imposed to mitigate possible risks and the governor has cautioned against fishing beyond the stipulated timeframe.
"They can fish from morning to evening. We don’t allow them to fish beyond this timeframe because of the potential risks. If they are out late at night, it can be difficult for us to communicate with them or take action in the event of an emergency,” he explained.
This decision was made in response to requests from local residents, many of whom rely on fishing for their livelihood. However, the governor emphasised that the residents' journeys must be dictated by the weather conditions for safety reasons.
On July 17, just days before the governor's announcement, Chamroeun had coordinated a rescue mission involving five ships. The operation was in response to over 700 local and international tourists being stranded on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem islands due to tumultuous weather and rough seas.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has warned that Cambodia is set to experience the effects of the fourth Typhoon Talim and a moderate-to-high southwest monsoon from July 19-25. These weather phenomena are likely to cause moderate-to-heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, strong winds and high waves in the coastal areas, signalling a need for continued vigilance among the region's fishermen and seafarers.