Stung Treng provincial governor Svay Sam Eang notified fishermen in the province that all commercial fishing will be banned from May 1 to September 30 to let fish breed during their highly fertile period.

In an April 21 notice, the governor said that during this season, fishermen may still fish to support their families day-to-day, but may not use large commercial equipment as it would be deemed illegal.

“The provincial administration firmly hopes that the public and all fishermen will follow the seven-point recommendations of Prime Minister Hun Senand and join us in the preservation, protection and sustainable use of our fishery resources for the benefit of the next generation,” the notice added.

Provincial hall spokesman Men Kong noted on April 25 that traditionally, national fisheries were closed to commercial fishing by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on June 1, but Stung Treng had made the decision to close its fisheries one month earlier.

He added that the fishing season was closed earlier because the province is a potential area for spawning fish into the rivers downstream.

“Stung Treng will close its fishing season in May. This decision was not made independently, but with guidance from the ministry. It was also agreed to by the Fisheries Administration. This exception was made for Stung Treng because its highest water levels – and the highest number of spawning fish – fall mostly in May, at the beginning of the rainy season,” he said.

He added that the provincial administration had concrete plans and sufficient forces to prevent fishing crimes – with a main focus on the protected pools in the province. In other areas, people may fish but can only use the equipment permitted.