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River and fish discussions. Includes comments by unidentified people.  

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Fishing discussion. Includes comments by local people.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
10 Nov 2005

    Geography
  • Cambodia
    Phnum Pénh
    Locality
  • Phnom Penh
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 11.5710362   104.9299908
    Channels
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 20
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • 2X Sennheiser MKH 20

DAT 1
11/10/05

Bank of Mekong River

RECORDED IN SPACED OMNIS 2 MKH20 mics

Facing the river away from the city

00:45Ambi -cars passing by at top of river bank

Josh walking to a place where he can get closer to the river (can't hear walking)

2:31 -3:25 water lapping against bank -nice ambi

3:25 -5:23 PP street ambi -cars passing, scooters passing by, car horns

Walking to meet us

6:02 -street ambi

7:19 -meeting Sami -boat motor passing by

7:21 water hitting side of boat (some talking in bg -in eng)

Setting up in boat

12:15 boat start up

14:28 MS -Zeb, where are we going?

Zeb -what is straight ahead of us is the lower Mekong River

JOSH NEEDED TO Reconfigure -above is distorted

14:49 bat slows down

ZB I just want to explain where we are. 14:53 ZH -downstream here is the lower Mekong -we are at the intersection of the Tonle Sap river, the Basac Rver and the upper Mekong River and the lower Mekong River. So all of these rivers meet in PP. TAKE TWO -with some motor in the bg

15:21

15:47 ZH right now we are at the intersection of the Tonle Sap River, the Mekong River and the Basac River. And so downstream from us is the Basac river and the lower Mekong and then upstream we have the TSR and the MR and what is
interesting about this point is that during the rainy season the Mekong rises and all of the water flows back up into the TSR and fills up the lake

16:16 -MS -the TS actually changes directions

16:17 (zH steps on MS last words) Changes directions -so right now it is the end of the rainy season and right now the Tonle Sap Lake is draining and the TS River whch connects the TS Lake to the Mekong river switches direction and now that water is draining back out of the TS Lake into the MR. 16:35

16:37 MS does it happen anywhere else in the world?

ZH -I heard that it happens ¿ DOESn't KNOW WHERE

16:41 MS -and in terms of -you were telling us how important the Mekong river is what is it? In terms of being the most productive fishery in the world? Explain that one to me

1652 ZH -one the reasons why the fishery is so productive is bc of the seasonality of the river. So during the rainy season the flow of the Mekong the flow of the Mekong increases by ten fold or 20 fold -and so all of that water during the rainy season floods out over the flood plains and the forest areas, so the TSap lake is one of -it is the largest of the lake in southeast Asia and it expands from about 3000 sqaure kilometers to 15 thousand square klicks in the rainy season -so you can imagine all of the habitat and nutrients that have opened up for fish. And so all of the fish, during the rainy season, are pmoving up into the TS lake and they are going into all of those floode plain habitats/forest flooded habitats and feeding on all the nutrients -on plants and insects that are available during that time. 1745.

MS -most people would think of flooding as something that is a bda thing, but here it is absolutely necessary thing.

ZH -yes it is absolutely necessary¿.and so right now the idea is to -for instance there are flood warning systems on the Mekong to make sure that once the floods reach a certain level then it becomes dangerous. But the people here have adapted to the seasonality of the river and so you will see all along the river that everyone's houses are on stilts and they are built to exactly the height of the peak flood. People here -I mean all of the fishing activity, people's lives, travel, holiday is all dependent on the seasonality of the river so if that seasonality ceased to exist people wouldn't knw what to do 18:30 it would be completely foreign to them

MS - And presumably, the fish would cease to exist as well.

18:35 Yes, bc the fish ecology is also based on the seasonality. They spawn at the beginning of the raining season and all of the young fish are pushed downstream so that they can feed and during the dry season they move back into the main river and up the Mekong to spawn during the dry season

MS - Now many fisherman have complained that this river is getting more shallow every year. Is that true? And if so, why?

ZH -well, what the fisherman complain about s the clearing of the flooded forest up in the TS lake and then they are also concerned about changes in the fluxuations of the water. For instance if there isn't a big flood then that is something that is worrying to them; or strange changes in the velocity or the water then they can't fish they way they are used to fishing. So that tends to be the type of thing that they complain about. 1931

1934MS -so, has that been happening consistently here?

ZH -it has not been happening too much in Cambodia yet -mainly where that is happening is further upstream in Thailand and in China where they are bldg mainstream dams. No mainstream dams downstream of China. And so the impacts of those dams down here in Cambodia luckily is not felt so strongly as it is for instance up in northern Thailand which is just downstream of the dams. Now the worry would be -there are plans in the books to build dams in this area. What the worry would be - if you put a dam right where we are now and you stopped the seasonality of the river -if you backed the river up into a reservoir and you changed the seasonality of the river then for instance the people living on the TS river on floating houses -they are used to changing their fishing techniques -everything about their life is based on the ebb and flow of the rver - so all of the sudden the river was just static the people wouldn't knw what to do 20:38

MS -is there a concern that bc of this daming the river might not reverse its course seasonally?

ZH -yes, yes -with every new dam that becomes more and more likely 20:53 - MS -it is even theoretical - it is likely -ZH no, 20:57 it becomes MORE likely

ZH -21:00 So for instance, there are plans to put more than 10 dams across the Mekong, in chins, but luckily for Cambodias those dams are so far up stream and there is so much other water coming in from diff areas so that much of those dams here hopefully would not be enough to make a difference in terms of the TSR or TSL 2122

MS -the watershed is bgger than that

ZH -the watershed is bigger than that. So what would really be of concern to Cambodians would be dams futher downstream, and there are dams like that. There is a dam on the moon river which is a major tributary of the Mekong. There are dams on the Sasong river (sp) and large trib in Cambodia that flows from Vietnam into Cambodia. What I am trying to say is that with each new dam that dampens the seasonality a little bit more. And so ¿n you have one dam this year, one dam next year and with each new dam that becomes more and more of a concern.

MS -2200 So the doomsday figure for you is that the river no longer flows in reverse seasonally, and if that happened how many people would be deprived of their livelihood.

2211 -ZH - Well, it is not doomsday scenario for me -it is doomsday scenario for them and on the TSL for instance I think there are more than a million people fishing and those are subsistence fishers that depend on fsh for their livelihoods. A lot of those people are not selling fish. It would be very bad for them.

2229 MS -and in addition to that, many people don't actually earn their living -actually depend on their fish for what 80% of their protein?

22:37 ZH -yeah. Cambodians depend on fish for 80% of their protein. It is estimated that Cambodians harvest about 600,000 tons of fish a year. Which is maybe 4th highest in the world after Bangladesh and China. China has a billion people. Fish are extremely important here. Cambodia has some of the highest for capita fish consumption in the world 2302

MS -at this point in time, the short term threat really is overfishing and better fishing techniques and things like that -yes?

2317 ZH -the immediate threats are over fishing, highly efficient fishing techniques and also habitat degradation. In this area you might not have a heavy neg impact from dams for instance but that is a concern, certainly in the future. But what is more worrying here is clearing of the flood plain, clearing of the flooded forest so that fish no longer have that habitat that they need during the rainy season to feed and grow large 2342. and then one of the other things that we are concerned about here -I am focusing on endangered species -very large species of fish. So what happens with fishing is that those species are the most vulnerable. Not just the most vulnerable to fishing, they are the nmost vulnerable to changes in the habitat, they are very vulnerable to changes in the flow of the river. And so that is why those fish are endangered.

MS -Why are they?

24:10 ZH - They are more susceptible to fishing bc they have a larger body size -it takes them a longer tme to grow. And so, the Camboda diet right now is based on fish that have a very short life cycle. And so even if they are heavily fished the small number of fish that survve that one year can reproduce more fish the next year. The fish I am working on, they don't reproduce until they are 5 yrs old. So that means they have to survive 5 yrs of heavy fishing before they reproduce. And so they don't have a chance to do that with all of the fishing that is going on. And so in the area that we are in right now we did a boat count last year and we did a boat count where we are right now and we counted 5000 boats in a single day. 2453

MS -compared to what the year before?

ZH -I am not sure actually. Gill nets actually came on to the scene about 30 or 40 yrs ago and everyone is using gill nets now -at least most people are at least right in this area. 2508 gill nets are something that occurred only fairy recently and they are certainly good at catching fish and then in terms of the number of fisherman that were out here previously I think it was closely correlated with the population¿ (for instance¿) and that mainly has to do -there are some political issues involved -but that mainly has to do that the Cambodian population is growing. 2546

2613 - 2810 Ambi of boat running (for use with this interview) -SPACED omni ambi

2815 -ZH -these are the gillnet fisherman right here. They weren't here a few days ago, so now it is starting. The catch peaks every year during a full moon and the full moon is about seven days from now. So now you are starting to see the first fishermen appear and with each passing day more fisherman appear and so that is an indication to me that they fishing is starting to improve which is a good sign for our work bc we need fish to do our tagging. 2845

MS -the earlier you see them coming out the more encouraged you are?

ZH -the more of them I see the more encouraged I am -just in terms of whether or not they are catching fish. Bc for instance, one thing that we are seeing up where I am working is that there are not many fish this year. And I don't know if there are less fish or just something to do with the full moon this year, or perhaps the water level, but we are not seeing as many fish this year as we have in the past 3 or 4 yrs. So does it concern me, I actually like to see fisherman out here bc that means that there fish I hope it is just later this year.

2926 -MS -what do you think?

2930 ZH -for the small fish I think the catch will come later this year and everything will be ok and for the large fish maybe they won't catch them this year 2937

2948 ZH -it could just be the environment - with fisheries normally you just see just natural flux based on environ conditions but what I am worried is that fish pop have declined do much that they are not catching any more. Bc I was out here 3 yrs ago and I saw a lot of fish and I thought this is going to be great -then I came out 2 yrs ago to start my study and they didn't catch very many ¿. (more on this -last year too) 30:18 and now this year they haven't caught any fish at all

3019 ms -so it is a steady decline

Zh -so it is a steady decline -it still could just be natural flux¿..you can't be sure¿.but then when you are sure it is too late. So I am hoping it is just delayed this year and they will still catch large fish

3041 ms -what do we lose when we lose the giant catfish -is it really that important?

3053 zh -the giant catfish is not important in terms of food bc it is so rare now. I mean certainly one fish could feed a village, but they only catch 5 of them a year. So if the giant catfish becomes extinct from a food securtity perspective, so it is not that important. But the gc is important one bc it is an amazing fish -largest fish in the world; they are incredible, but the other is that gc and the other large fish are a warning of what is going on in the river bc they are the most vulnerable. Bc what you see with overfishing -typically there are 2 kinds of overfishing. There is overfishing for large high valued species what we call assemblage overfishing¿large fish fished first¿.when you have fish like the gc that disappear what that means is that not only are you losing species the gc is a mekong edemic so you that species forever, but also, once you lose the Mekong gc and the other large fish than the smaller sized fish are going to be next

MS -they are the bellweather

3213 Zh -yeah, they are the canary in the coal mine.

3214 boat ambi ORTF ambi

3400-4111 Boat shut down and then start up and then fast boat

4113 zh -we are heading up the tsr. The area where I spend most of my time is about 5k away from the confluence of the ts and the Mekong river and the area where I work is basically the epicenter for all of the migratory fisheries (talk in the bg -can't use) all fish that either enter into the tsl or go back out from the tsl into the mk. So this is a very important area. So you can see this is a very important area and that means all of the fish that pass btwn the 2 habitats have to pass through this area and the fisherman know that - so they -so the fishing is quite intense in this area -

JOSH -is that why this city came to be

ZH -it must be it at the point of intersection of the mk, the basac and the tsriver and fish I mean fish are so important that must be one of the reasons why the fish are here. Another reason must be transport. Cambodians are very used to getting around by boat. So from PP you can get to a.wat to the TSl downstream to Vietnam. It is like a freeway -it is a fish freeway 4241 (loud motor in bg) -all houses built at same level -can see how high water gets 4300 about 6 weeks ago water was this high 4322 -this is all freshwater -we are above seawater¿¿

4353 boat ambi

4407 zh -so those are cages over there -you will see a lot of houses up high and under the houses are cages -certain types of fish they catch kept inside cages

Ms -cambodian freezers

Zh -Cambodian freezers

4443 boat ambi

4451 = the ethnic makeup of people on the river -on river more diverse group of people mostly khmer Vietnamese, Kum, Chinese -a lot of people we will be talking to are not ethnic khmer

4546 boat ambi

4631 ambi of water (mic near water)

4641 more boat ambi -boat faster

4750 talk over boat -ng (no good)

5028 zh = there are 14 rows of bagnets -there used to be a row of nets -2 yrs ago it was abolished apparently bc it was catching too many of these endangered fish and also bc it was too close to the city and the smell of the processing can be quite strong and so those are the 2 reasons that I heard¿bc of the large endangered fish they are catching and also bc it was too close to city. I don't know if those are the real reasons are not. 5101 but one thing to keep in mind there is a possibility that these nets might be closed down and so everyone is aware of that. I am not sure if that makes my job easier or harder. People here have to deal with if any more of these nets get closed down they are next in line. 5129.

Ms -but why were the nets upstream closed down?

5136 zb -well the nets where I work catch 90% of the endangered fish that are the focus of my project

MS - But if you close them down what is the alternative for them to do?

5146 zb -there are 4 families that own the nets where I work. And they are large scale commercial fishers but as far as I know they don't have alternative source of income -they have been fishing at these nets for 10 some of them 15 years -and from my understanding if some of them get closed down these people will not have any alternative options.

Ms -day laborers

Zh -day workers -20-25 seasonal workers eachmake $1 day¿f.ree food cig and place to stay¿it affects familes and many others -people that rely on them for fish, people that eat the fish

5304 zh -the trade off is that as far as I am concerned, ideally , will be to find another solution.. I mean I do not want to see these nets close down but that was a decision that dept of fisheries made.

5332 boat slows down and stops

Zh 5400 this is bagnet #2a

5429 ambi -people talking in bg

5449 zeb showing us the photo of the giant catfish in newspaper¿.5459 so we heard an unconfirmed report that a fish was caught in UNCOMCHANG yesterday morning and by the time we got there the fish had died. It was about a 200 kg fish -that was 450 lb fish.

5520 -Siam reading parts of paper about catfish king fish caught5547 zh -the giant catfish is called the kingfish or royal fish

5553 -zb Hogan -this is kind of cool

Ambi paper turning

Ms -good news bad news (bad bc fish died good bc fish is still out there) 5 fish caught in world not include some fish in Thailand

Ms -5 fish caught last yr

5657 zb -in the course of 10 days we have 3 -we got 2 yesterday

Ms -so we are way ahead of last year

Zb -not until we get 5!

Laughter

5708 zh -but yeah. I do feel sad when these fish are caught and they die but for instance if they got 15 fish and they all died -that would be horrible but I wouldn't be that sad bc it means there are still 15 fish out there and that would be more fish than have ever been caught in a yr -indicator of how many fish are out there¿.it would mean there are still fish surviving in the river -population still surviving

5747 ms -dead big fish are better than none

Zh -exactly, and my concern is that we will come out here one year -it isn't going to be this yr bc we already got 3 fish -next year

Ms -15 dead fish is better than one live one

5801 Zh -maybe, yeah. Just in terms of indicators of the fish. I am not so concerned about the fish. I mean I don't like to see dead fish I am more concerned about the species as a whole

5823 ms -this fish that you see on the front page of the newspaper. Did they call you or did you hear about it second hand?

Zb -we did but we got called -just released a fish out here/rainy here/sami got a phone call/fishermen in upper mk got a fish -we hear a lot of stories here (ms -big fish tales) big fish tales -I don't know if they are true or not but report they caught a huge fish with tag ¿we are tagging the fish. We think what they do is they move out of the tonle sap river and then up the mrver to spawn. And that is where the fish was, so that will confirm what we believe about the gcatfish

Ms -this would have been the holy grail for you.

Zeb -it would have, yeah. But I know enough to be suspicious ¿this case there was a fishbut there was no tag

Ms -big, not that big, tag but no tag, alive and then died. Other than that it was find

Zeb -yeah. And so we got a phone call. This is the way it usually works. We get a phone and go and then investigate. And so yesterday evening we got a phone call of this tagged fsh. We drove up stream about 70 miles from here. Yes there was a fish. It was 450 adult fish which is a good size adult fish but it did not have a tag and it died by the time we got there.

Ms -so did they end up eating it?

10037 zeb -no. we provided a small reward for the fisherman for reporting the catch. And then fish was taken by the dept of fisheries -it is going to be made into a display. 10050 you will not believe the amount of people that were crowded around this fish. Everywhere we went there were people. So I like the idea that they are going to preserve it and put it on display so that everyone can see it.

Ms -presumably though they could have chopped him p

10138 Zh ¿the incentive is if they could have kept him alive, we pay market value. So we would give them 150 plus a reward if they keep the fish alive if the fish dies we give them a reward¿it is still valuable for us. We take a DNA sample and usegenetic studies withbodies -we to know genetic makeup of fish so we know what is happening wihthke fish 10310
10423 Talking with SOKA -her father's net -7 children

Zeb -main people I work with are 3 sisters -lists names of sisters including pour ¿working boat and a place to live¿..when not catching fish

Poka -I stay at house when I finish my diy.

Zeb -only everyone stays here when catching fish

10559 zeb -we are about 5 miles upstream from the confluence of the Mekong and the tsr and we are on the tsr if you wnet down stream u get to Mekong if you go upstream u get to tslake -about 50-60 miles. We are on a floating house part of bagnet row #2 -themost downstreamrow of nets in tsr where our project is based -in these nets -surprisingly enough, even though these nets are downstream from every other net in tsr these nets catch 90% of the large fish apparently bc the water is very fast flowing here and water is very deep. So these large fish that are strong normally can escape either don't get caught or can escapre from upstream -can't get out of nets

Ms -get a full head of steam and cant get out

10711 Zeb -season starts oct 10 this yr and it will last depends on water levels usually last until end of feb or march

Ms -and that is it for fishing season? Then pound into paste?

Zeb -they pound into paste as fishing season progresses. By time fish season stops no more fish. They start the fishing oct 1 -they can't start until river changes direction¿so they have to wait until river changes direction until they canset up nets¿.it flows out of tsl about 8 months a year and into tslake about 4 months a year.

Ms -so the 4 months is over it is going other way

10806 Zeb -it is going the other way and it will continue to flow out of the tsl until june or july¿then it starts raining. It is dried upnow. Gets lowest in april and may -very low end of may begin june rains come and then Mekong level rises and tsl fills up again

Introduction to puor

11222 pour -I think most of the khmer people they aren't interested in fishing so I don't tell them (about her net catching biggest fish)

11403 how often lift nets -talk in khmer -pour -every 2 or 3 hrs¿.maybe more than hrs ago pulled up last

Talk about when pull up nets again

11514 - 11805 AMBI IN AREA in spaced omnis -some talk¿..

Talking off mic

11911 some talking in khmer -shouting (some with zeb in bg)

12019 zh -we have been out here for 5 yrs and in the past the way it works we have been working with the fishermen that own these 4 nets and when they would catch a fish which is mainly the 3 species that we are focusing on are Mekong giant c, giant carp and river catfish and those 3 species are endangered in Cambodia. The Mekong gc is crticially endangered it is very rare. And the river catfish is less rare but used to be one of the staple foods of Cambodia but they hardly catch any more¿..prob bc of overfishing -it is a large body fish it doesn't start reproducing unti 4 or 5 years of age and the fishing pressure is so intense now it just indications that is just overfished.

Ms -no villains

Zeb -no villans -just reality -so basically the last 4 yrs we have been working with the fishermen we would come out here and we would pay them for the fish at the market price in return fr paying them for the fish -we would tag it and then release it. 12152 -this year is diff than yrs past. And every yr there are surprises out here -this yr the dir of cambod. Fisheries took upon himself to do a proclamation that fishermen have to release certain endang species that they catch and that includes the species that are a part of my project. And so these nets that we are working on now have been changed- they used to be commercial bag nets. Now this row is fishing for research and conservation fishing area and that is new this year. They signed a contract that this will be a r and cons area and they will release and let dept of fish out here to do research on fishing migration¿..

But still a commercial enterprise

12301 Zeb -it is still a commercial enterprise and the fishermen are doing what they have always done -operating diys as they have always operated diys. In theory the tax on these nets was supposed to be decreased to compensate on the money they would lose by releasing fish and us causing prob for them¿. I am not sure how it played out behind scenes¿.hoping taxes have been lowered but I don't really know what happened. Fisherman seem to be put out bc they have to release valuable fish that prev I was paying for -this year when they catch a fish 1 of 3 things can happen 1) the fish is tagged and released immediately after capture -we do that if the more handling time for fish the worst condition they are in -just put tag on and throw back in other 2 options -fish tank and fish cage. So if we have a fish injured and needs help it goes in O2 tank with meds we give antib. Etc. and see if we can't improve cond of fish. If we aren't here or fish in fairly good cond. Then it goes in cage 12513 we have tanks and cages behind house.

12523 ms -is this a disincentive to participate next yr?

Zeb -well, they don't have a choice I mean they did -agree to this or -open bidding process -auction off rights for fisheries -the Cambodian dept of fisheries has control over the whole river so they pay for rights for fish -

12626 Ambi -good splashing -fish from nets into hole in house -khmer in bg

12733 zeb -so they have won the rights to fish in this area for 10 yrs? For about 10 or 15 yrs. And it is more or less the same situation with every net - same people cont to win rights to fish here and that prob is bc they have the expertise and they know how the auction works they have all the cap investments already the skills to be able to fish in this area -it is not easy -even people here 10-15 yrs have problems¿.

Ms -a lot is who you know¿

Zeb -yes, but it is muc more $$ for them if it is open bid process. This yr it was not open -they were guaranteed rights to fish here. In return for that guarantee there were certain conditions¿but grumbling has been they didn't get enough of lower tax rate and it is hard for a fisherman to release -if you have a fish that is worth 100 200 $ I thnk for them it is like tearing up $ and so sometimes regardless of what has happened before hand -I think sometimes doesn't make sense to them to catch and release 12929 the reason we are doing it is for conservation of the species but it is still eventhough -to keep these species -the mentality is you catch fish you keep it even if crit endang -you see samething in usa endang species act¿..at some point you need to draw line -if we don't do anything there will be none left.

Ms -any idea how many of the gc left?

13035 zeb -what we know 100 yrs ago catching 1000 of these things now they catch 5-10 a year. Based on catch population has declined 99% based on 100 yrs ago. So we don't have a good idea of how many fish in river but we do know that pop have declines dramatically.

Ms -but unlike other places not industrialization

Zeb -no doesn't appear to be -in case of the gc it seems to be fishing,habitat degredation and then with the gc it prob is develp. It is prob one of the only species that we can say with a fair degree of certainty that yes, dams in china, dredging in the upper Mekong, rapids blasting blasting of the rock where the fish spawn, prob has a neg impact 13133

Ms -but many would argue also pos for people who live in these areas

Zeb -except for the fishermen¿.people who are running boats,¿.i guarantee you that anyone who relies on the river for their livelihood they are not happy right now with changes they are seeing on the river¿.so in cambodia 14% of the GDP comes from fish, 12% from rice -I don't know how much fromdams. Obviously if they built more dams than more money would come from electricity -but fish are incred important here -that estimate if from fish sold and that is prob an underestimate. Millions of people rely on fish in the Mekong basin. Yeah, there need to be some tradeoffs. You can't 0 I doubt many people want to be subsistence fishers just eeking out a livelihood -that is prob noones ideal at same time put in dam are those people that put in dam going to benefit - perhaps indirectly -they don't have any money at all -they can catch fish for free so living along the water -except for the fact that people are poor -if you are going to be poor you better live along river rather than some where else so you have access to fish. It is a trade off. Ideally the region can be develop in such a way that it doesn't have a neg impact on the fishery. I think happening to some extent. Some good ways and bad ways -putting a dam would be a bad way. It wouldn't generate enough electricity prob enough irrigation for rice fields but if you look at those benefits and cost the costs are enormous -so I think that is what ideally -find the balance. So I am trying to provide info about what is happening in the river so that I can help people find that balance. Bc fisheries tend to be underappreciated so it is very important how important fish are in Cambodia. 13434

Ms -not a country with strong govt -but cooperation from fisheries

13451 -I am getting good coop from dept of fisheries. The way that things work here is that I find the Cambodian dept of fisheries very helpful and Cambodian govt helpful as long as you don't interfere with other things 13517¿. If I work with fisherman and provide salaries Cambodian govt ok with it -problems arise when you cut into someones bottom line¿.

13606 ms -this year you are cutting into her father's bottom line

Zeb -right but that is -btwn her father dept of fish and and me -lower taxed on nets¿people here -everywhere like to complain¿

13724 zeb -what I am trying to do is gather as much info as I can act in good faith to do the best job that I can based on the info that I have can't always take face value I have to listen to all and try to gage what is reality and I think I usually air on side of fisherman I end up paying more for the fish than they would have gotten and but there is more conflict this year bc I went to director of fisheries and said we would like to pay for them to release the fish and he said no. they have agreed to these conditions -it is against the law to catch the fish we need to follow the law. 13827 command and control here and you have to respect that -rule of law. So I am not going to be able to come here my whole life with a wad of cash in my pocket and beable to purchase these fish for relase -always viewed as a short term thing -so the fact that the dir of dept of fisheries has come in this year and said look we are going to follow law this yr and we are going to make an agreement with the fisherman to release these fish for the conservationists -how it works on ground maybe another issue -how we implement it is ¿but idea of it I like.

U think he actually cares

He seems like he does. He made that decision on his own.

Ms -and you are the only one pressuring him on this issue

139 50 Zeb -I assume I am only one¿.but interesting path¿..he used to work for the Mekong river commission as a dept of fish counterpart -he is a strong man.

Ms -he cares about the river.

Zeb -he seems like he does and also is knowledgeable -unusual. I think what he is trying to do is sincere. Our job here to implement his decision -might be difficult -fishermen do seem to be losing money but we are here 14033 to work out those issues. Luckily people at this net I hope that if there ws some problem they would tell me and we could find a solution although ultimately I am not authority here so if decision is made or some prob ¿. I can't solve but I can do what I can 14113

14133 -14237 ambi in area

1430 describe bagnet fishing -they just sit there -underneath house a cage -fir fish they want to raise and stock some fish -lower value fish keep to feed higher value fish = if you spend some time and learn about the way they fish here it is elegant -they are very well adapted to the change in the river, the seasonality making the most money than they can 14408

They keep small catfish and wait to get bigger

Pour talking about when sell catfish

14454 -pour during time we have no fishing we need money so we need to sell some fish

14530 ¿zeb -it seems quite here right now -that is a characteristic of the river bc the fishery is seasonal but the catch also peeks at certain time of month -before full moon catch will increase -nov catch isn't that catch -dec higher and then jan is higher¿.in jan there will be a lot of activity¿.it is a little bit deceiving here now bc not catching lots of fish -but at certain times catch 15 tons a day last year certain days -with one net -each net 15 nets -60 tons a day with little fish -which is why money is named after them bc they are so abundant¿.that is what they make prahak from. But good time to come here working bc later on everyone is very tired and difficult for me to work then

14819 pour's sister is collecting all of the info in a book -part of project when I am not here she is recording info about what they are catching. Nice for me I don'tneed to be out here all of the time

Talk about where the fish market is ¿talking about dumping fish into a camary 15050 an entire car full of catfish

Talking about people that live there with them fisherman

15343 zeb talking with sami about recording info about the catch with the fishermen -

15413 zeb -so no river catfish, no probarbous -catch hasn't started to increase yet -what is going on?

Pour -this is a little bit unusual¿last 2 yrs same thing like this -have only small fish -last 2 yrs -last yr better than this year -

Zeb -you think they heard about our project? I think this year is unusual.

Pour -if you compare it is similar¿..last year was good for small fish and gc also and other big fish -

Zeb -was bad for big fish¿No giant barb -I think it is strange

15610 ambi in area and a big SIGH from willy

Zeb -is your uncle mad at me?

Pour -maybe just with sami

Seb talk with piour if uncle wants to record info for them -

15759 -zeb -very unusual no big fish. That is a concern. For pour and the family it isan't that bad bc the prhak fish the trey real -they had a very good year lst yr so they made a lot of money

Ms -it was a wash

Zeb -it was fine ¿ apparently there are no large fish so they are depending on the small fish for their income

Ms -why no large fish?

Pour -I don't know¿.other lots they caught large fish ¿

No one knows for sure

Pour -upstream they catch them

20036 pour I think my father has some ideas¿.bc fisherman many years

Zeb -all of fish have diff behaviors and fisherman pay attention to that ¿when river flow stops then you stop fishing so if current slow you need to stop fishing

When will you stop fishing

Pour -maybe feb

Ms -small scale fisherman can fish whenevery they want

Zeb -yes but not in fishing lots in open seasn¿

20210 end of dat 1

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