Declining catches

December 4, 2020

Bon Om Teuk in Cambodia is the annual Water Festival in November that marks the turning of Mekong's flow as it drains from the Tonle Sap into the sea. The dai (bagnet) fishery starts operating around this time, running till March.

Our friends at the USAID Wonders of the Mekong program in Phnom Penh have been posting about the current decline in fish catch:

'Fisheries on the Tonle Sap River, a Mekong tributary, employ large stationary nets called dai to catch huge amounts of fish, most prominently small, silvery carp known as trey riel, or “money fish,” which are used to make prahok, a fish paste that is a staple in Cambodian food. In recent years, however, the catches here have dramatically declined, forcing several of the large-scale dai operations to close. The diminished returns have coincided with lower water levels in the Mekong and weakened river flows, which may be caused by a combination of factors, including the withholding of water in dams upstream and climate change-driven drought.'

Check out the original photos by Suthep Kritsanavarin, at Wonders of the Mekong.

Freshwater fishes at a local market.

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