Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fishing this reason is Not Allowed


The below is speech of Prime Minster Hun Sen on 11 August 2011 on the occasion of Diploma Presenting for Human Resource University Graduates. The Prime Minster's speech is value and  all the people to follow to protect the natural resource especially fish. We quoted the original source (Cambodian New Version). Cambodian New Version is a type of an official magazine that quoted word of Prime Minister. 

Please see the below content of Prime Minister speech. It's very useful for people and human activists to use his word to protect the natural resource: 

Inspecting Reports of 35 Fishing Zones

Having come to this, please allow me to continue with what I have declared on July 1, 2011, the National Fishery Day, in the province of Svay Rieng about measures to be taken vis a vis the fishing lots. I would like to take this opportunity to speak to the people in the whole country and to apologize for the second time from our people after my first apology about the need to reform the fishing lots in 2000.

Then, I asked our people in Siem Reap province for an apology and trimmed out some 57% of the fishing lots for their access and household fishing operation. Again today I am seeking another apology from the people who reside in the Tonle Sap Lake basin on my shortcomings in giving authority to junior level officials. You may remember that from Svay Rieng, I have assigned a Deputy Prime Minister, HE Bin Chhin, and concerned ministers, to conduct inspections of all the fishing lots.

For me the report of over ten pages is shocking and I think that I have to break it out. I also think the report should be for public knowledge so that people will understand why the Prime Minister has taken strong measures in relation to this issue. I am of the opinion that the matter must be transparent.

Fishing Not Allowed, a Review in 2015

Along with shock, I have decided to revoke operational licenses from all 35 fishing lots. I have agreed totally with the inspecting committee that  the 35 lots in all five provinces – Kompong Chhonang, Pursath, Battambang, Siem Reap,  and Kompong Thom - must be suspended. No fishing allowed. This does not apply for  household fishing in community fishing area as is recognized by the state.

I am of the opinion that we may have to suspend fishing up to three seasons - 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14 - in those lots so as to let fishes grow big. We will take stock of our measures and policies in, whereas decision on which lots should be conserved or allowed for fishing again would be made by then too. It has been shocking that inappropriate fishing has been found as is said in the report where nets with hole as small as that for mosquito have been used to bar fish from traveling out of the zone.

For about three seasons, I am anticipating that the fish will be able to travel as far as Stoeung Treng province, where traveling this far has been impossible every year because of the net. It is already a compromise that the state does not bring those lot operators and fishery officials for punishment. Let me instruct HE Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to order all lot operators to move their equipments out of the zone. I am not worried to lose their supports as long as I have the supports of people in the whole of Tonle Sap Lake area. It has been warned and re-warned but abuse has gone on and on. Actions taken by the Ministry of Interior and/or National Police have not been effective, while sometimes their officials have been threatened too. It is painful when you have to listen to a story that people could not even row their boats across the lots. I find it when a man was arrested for fishing with a fishing rot in the zone completely unacceptable. Well this is what I have to send as message to the fishing lots in the Tonle Sap Lake basin. However, this should also be treated as message for those operating in fishing lots elsewhere as well.

They have to abide by the law. I would urge urgent technical review and inspecting of fishing permission logbook. Bamboo bars used as barrier to fish movement needs to be defined and thoroughly inspected. We also have to urge that those with rights to operate the fishing lots must deposit a certain amount of money in the bank.

Household fishing may go on except large scale fishing which requires permission from the state. And for the permission, they would have to wait for further notice. We must do everything we can to regain population increase of the fish.

Policy Options for the Lots Once the review is over, or after the specified no fishing seasons, I would suggest a look into a possibility with three scenarios. We may come to conclude that a part of the lots would be trimmed out for people’s use, a part would be conserved totally and a small part would be allowed for large scale fishing again but with strict technical norms and operation. In case of violation to the said norm of operation, the deposit that interested party put at the Bank would be confiscated. As far as income from the fishing lots is concerned, the state earns some two million USD per year only. I think the people could earn more from fishing by themselves. So I do not hesitated to come up with this policy. I am not afraid of losing support from those fishing lot operators but I am sure people at large will give me support. Abuse has been large and serious. That is why we have come out with order 01 and the formation of an inspection which leads to the revocation of the 35 fishing lots inTonle Sap Lake. As we have a rather big flood, let the fish travels far and breeds and if we fail to catch them, they will not be decayed ... The message should also serve as warning to those in fishing lots other than in the Tonle Sap Lake... I have now put out the fire. HE Chan Sarun should now be looking at delegating works (to the provincial authority), managing and controlling violations from recurring in all lots ...◙


Please linked the original source: http://www.cnv.org.kh/cnv_html_pdf/cnv_162_Aug_11.pdf
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