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Poa, Michael Sullivan  

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Fishing discussion  

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Daughter translates for her father as they discuss fishing with Michael Sullivan.  

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Zeb Hogan, Michael Sullivan  

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Fish conservation discussion.  

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Fish conservation discussion.  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
14 Nov 2005

    Geography
  • Cambodia
    Siemréab
    Locality
  • Tonle Sap river
    Latitude/Longitude
  • 12.0529973   104.777298
    Channels
  • Multi-channel
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Recorders
    Microphones
  • Sennheiser MKH 20
    Accessories
    Equipment Note
  • 4-Channel Surround; 1=L, 2=R, 3=Ls, 4=Rs; No audio present for first 23:37 on tracks 3 and 4; No audio present on tracks 1 and 2 after 2:07:23; 4X Sennheiser MKH 20

Note: The following log applies to two tapes that are synced-up from 23:37 to 2:07:23. A problem with the tape counter occurred at 1:43:09, therefore the logged times (time code) after this point are not accurate. The log is also incomplete.

Cambodia dat 10

2 omni direction mics at the diy but only one dat machine working nov 14

128 boat start -going to clean nets

josh will find best cleaning of nets

2637 m talking with poua

2700 m -what are they doing now

p -they are cleaning nets in whole day we need to clean in twice 6am and 5 in evening we want to clean all of the plastic bag and the something stiuck on net otherwise we don't get out it gets too heavy for net and net will be broken

m -how many times bring nets in -every 2 hrs all night nlong -most productive time when you bring most fish most productive
¿if compare with normal time it is better you saw far fewer fish you see

p -bc of this year we se¿..we did have more fish and more big fish ¿.i start to worry¿.maybe feeling here

m -why what reason do you thinkl

p -I think intvw with ffather¿..i have an idea I think that bc of -just my idea -went to tslake for this year not too many fish I am afraid fish that age and have babies I think illeagal fishing I heard that there are some messy net (mesh net)

m -you don't think fish are getting enough time to get bigger -you think taking too soon in lake

p -yes. Before when they fishing they use gill net they use normal net but now they have new idea they have a very meshy net.

M -very fine net

P -very small net¿I think it is illegal fishing bc this period no fish¿.about june or july or august.

M -that is spawning time

3148 p my name is PO-A I have been living with my father during fishing season 10 yrs

m- and ytoua re 24

p -before didn't know about fishing

m -since 14 fisherwoman and accountant¿do you want to stay in biz

p -no I don't want to be a fishing person bc I think the fish in Cambodia become rare so if I still do same thing I don't want to do like that bc cant earn too much right now

m -you are afraid you will wake up and no more fish

p -yes

3314 ambi on boat

3751 loud motor

3758 boat going by with whistles and people rowing

4021 josh in boat -josh will pick best from here

10739 interview with poa's father

id of poa's father - 10809

in khmer¿¿ hard to hear him here¿¿

10841 MOTZESA 59 yrs old 30 yrs a fisherman

m p- so far this yr catch not so good do you think same thing compared to this time last year

10929 yes he said the fish that we catch if compare to last yr if compared to last tr esp big fish it more decrease every yr and we can see the?? Of the fish

m -why -too many people chasing too few fish?

11018 -this part of him sounds ok

11143 if he compare the reason that fish is decrease is bc the fisherman there are more fisherman and another thing the technology become higher if compare from before some fisherman fishing in deep water but now they have the machine to have some o2 to fish in deep water so some kind of fish that live under tree or place that they just escape and fisherman can fish in this area -they have more tech for fishing

m -has fishing beeen good to you and your family have you made a good living

BOAT HERE over FATHER

P ¿11347 -30 yrs ago a lot of fish pruel or xx fish or xx the weight is more than 1 kg we can catch for whole season for 5 months we can catch fish and put under floating house and after we sell under house around 4 or 5 tons a year 4 or 5 kg a year, but even though fish will sell how can we can put under house

M -after him is that end of fishing in family

P -father -11536 -he said all of us no one wants to be fisherman and he does not want us to be a fisherman he wants us to do antoher job

M -why

P -he is ask my brother and all of them they say no they don't want to continue job and sister also¿.he doesn't want to be a fisherman that is why he try and earn a lot of money and pay us for school more than to be a fisherman.

M -is there something wrong with being a fisherman is it bc too hard

Poa/father -it is not too hard to work but it hard bc we are always wonder about fishing always being scared being afraid of net being broken or no fish and it is not a stable earning some yr we can earn some yr we can lose it means sometimes we lose and it means we have to spend a lot for floating house and net and boat and if cant earn much money then we have a loss prob the experience that the fisherman with other fisherman they lost and had to refund money -sometimes have to sell equpment of land end nothing

M -so it is hard

12134 it is an up an ddown job maeaning that other thing worried he doesn't want children to be fisherman only 5 month for fishing listing months but for oct and nov we cant earn anything and then we have to pay own money for food ¿¿ sometime we can earn money for small fish for prhuk but if during that time we have accident¿.loss production and we can loss also ¿. 12308 and after fishing season we have no more fishing

m -when last time caught a gcatfish

last year ¿

m -how big

for the last year we caught one gc 215 kg it is big

m- it was healthy and we let it goit was healthy

m -ve seen any since

listing other diys who caught gc

m -all fishermen complain fewer fish what does he think this means

p/father -12631 the kind of fish will only decrease what we have now will only decrease we just hope only small fish for big fish we don't respect we don't think fbig fish coming back¿for the last yr the agric they have some legal and protect to take care of fish but if he said that the big fish get better if strong care for fish

m- the fisherman -no more reward -does father believe they will do it

p/father -13227 if they have good mind conservation for fish but diff to say if they have a good ming he cant estimate bc they are poor if they catch one gcat they can makj 100 dollar so maybe they sell it if they need money diff to say. But for us diff thing we will relase fish eventhough no reward bc for canmbodian people we belive the gc is the king of the fish meaning this is biggest fish that is why we don't catch if we want to kill the gc it can make us unlucky this is our belief before they sell ¿ Thailand¿.for big fishermen wont kill bc bad luck but for poor people sometimes they can sell it

m -does your father beliuecve you need to preserve the fish

father -he have to propose he want to avoid bad luck and he want to conservation he wants to conservation

13536

13949 more ambi and tape explaination

something weird with abs time here -

intvw with zeb

4720 ambi -water hitting side of boat you can tell you are on a boat

Why here

Z -working out here since 2001 started off as Mekong riv commis and work with fishermen along the tsr¿.we work with fisherman¿..this area where they catch some¿we work with the fishermen so that when they catch one of the endag giant fish species like the giant barb or giant catfish we work with them so that these fish are not killed and released back alive into the river¿.we have been working out here for num yrs tagging about doz species of fish to learn about mig patterns. So fish right here are now moving out of tonle sap lake and into the tonle sap they are in tsriver and move out to Mekong. So by tagging them here as they move out of the tslake we can learn about their mig patterns after they move out of Mekong. So the tagged fish are recaptured we get info about their movt patterns 4844

4852 z -what has been exciting about project this has been first large scale tagging project on Mekong and what we have found is that some species they move down to lower Mekong and into Vietnam¿cross border migration¿.the larger species of fish esp the river catfish and some of the other large species they have moved out of the tsriver and up Mekong and we have found them as far up as the Cambodia laos border

4944 so what we think happening is that fish moving out of tslake into tsriver and then up Mekong river to spawn that is migration of about 500 miles¿..

So some of these species swim far ¿ lke salmon¿

5032 z this project that we are working on the ts has changed this year it is a larger project this year now have support from Mekong wetlands biod program and so in addition to work on ts¿.we are also doing endangered species research and outreach next month conference¿.so this project here incambodia it is expanding to other countries list countries in addition a global proj the search for the largest freshwater fish and by coincindence caught larget fresh water fish in thailand this year a 640 giant Mekong catfish that was ver exciting.

It is the largest documented freshwater fish in the world but I still think that thu course of project we will find more freshwater stingrays¿list here¿Chinese paddle fish¿.certain species of fish in south America so we are still looking and I don't think the Mekong will be largest but now it has record as we continue with this project the 2 objectives are to try and identify which species isn't that the largest and second I suspect that all of these freshwater fish that live all over the world in rivers it seems that most of these species are in decline so other objective of project is do to conservation assessments of all these diff species of fish and then look at the conservation as a whole and then determine what is happening with all of these pop of fish 5254

But why reluctant to talk to you? 5314 things could get harder for me. Basically what has happened is that it is illegal to catch these giant fish species so the dept of fisheries decided to do w/in last few days is my understading is that they are really going to start coming down hard on the fisherman. Start to enforce the law which is understandable. But why that makes things difficult for me is that I am working with the fisherman to try and get information and if they are reluctant to talk with me then diff for me to collect info.

5356 bc it is illeagal to catch fish it is illeagal to catch these giant species of fish and my understanding is that the dept of fish they are going to punish the people that catch these fish so obviously if I go out and ask hey do you ever catch these fish and now it is a crime, who is going to admit to that 5400

Couldn't they just give you the info

5424what this means now and actually it is a challenge but I am looking forward to it it is that we need to more creative in our approach to this and basically I am just thinking that one thing have to do go to fishing communities all thru out Cambodia and explain to them what we are doing why we need info and that our team and I am not doing enforcement so basically go out to villages and explain to people if you catch one of these fish pls release it and after you release it pls contact us so we can get info

So mixed emotions to you one one hand being very tough enforcing existing laws downside is that makes harder to establish a baseline

5520 in terms of the mgcatfish I feel like we have the baseline already we basically know already what is going on with the populations and so our new laws enacted now that restrict us from gathering info that ok at this point bc we have baseline info that we need. For some of other species that we don't have baseline list fish we still do need that baseline so it is going to make things more difficult and we are going to have to get more creative with our approaches and buy, tag and release program that we have had in the past was always recognized as a short term approach so we always knew that this was something that we could do forever so the fact that things are changing and that it doesn't look like we are going to be able to continue our program exactly as we have been we knew this was coming. So it isn't the end of the world. We will just keep going in a different way.

If it comes to it your would rather save the fish then get the data

5633 yeah especially for the Mekong gcatfish that is the critically endangered -it the most endangered in se asia (IS THIS CORRECT? Maybe he means fish) and at this point I mean we don't need the data my research isn't as impor as protecting the fish if there are changes that make it diff for me to collect the info but that can protect the fish that is fine with me 5655

What makes the mekgcatfish so cool to you

5700 well it is HUGE! It is the largest fish that we know about right now and everytime I see it I get excited. I have prob seen 30 or 40 fish over the last 10 years and everytime I see one I get excited. I get goosebumps.

It is size, or what?

I think it mostly size and also bc so rare now that in a way I guess I empathize with the fish. I don't know what the fish are thinking I don't have a personal attachment to each fish but certainly I don't want to see them go extinct and they are facing a lot of challenges right now. There are very few of them left fishing pressure is extremely high now there are dams and dredging going on and they are spawning habitat. The reason why I have become so interested in the Mekong gc is to me it is a metaphor for the river and what happens to the mgc it also gives us an idea of what is going to happen to the Mekong river 5800

Canary in coal mine

5814 canary in coal mine and also more than that in terms of indiv species I just like it (Willy over him) and if there is a species that unique and that large and I get so excited about for whatever reason I don't want to see it disappear 5829

Why should I care

The people in the Mekong should care a lot bc fish are so imp here and in terms of fresh water fisheries I mean fresh water fisheries are much more imp than people realize

5856 they are so imp here bc people depend on them everyone depends onfish here in camb. So what we see is that the fishery is potentially threatened esp the large fish but after the large fish are gone then it will be the med size fish then small fish. So fishery is threatened for people who are living away from river ¿.. some how it is easy to see benefit of certain activities¿.but some how fish don't see fish as that imp but in Cambodia that is not the case fish are incredibly imp here

5952 had did you become a fishhead

By chance I have always been interested in outdoors¿.undergrad at u of arizonia¿.fish work. In a sense I feel luck bc I have always knwn what I have wanted to do and ever since that point I have been studying¿.

10053 what makes this area unique is that upstream is the tslake -a huge habitat for fish downstream from us is the Mekong river. So where we are right now this -the tsr connects the tslake with the Mekong river and at this point right where we are now it is very narrow and very deep and so every fish that moves btwn the tsr and the Mekong river -2 very imp habitats for fish -has to pass this point right here so this point right here is a super hwy for migratory fish it is the best place for me to be to do my work in northern Thailand¿..up there fish more valuable cultural and political issues we don't have here

Jess -you feel like people don't respect fish enough

10213Z -I really feel we are entering into a period I see for instance how much emphasis that people place on birds and even more¿marine fisheries¿big movt to conservation marine species¿.but that excitement has not shifted over to fresh water fisheries yet even though fresh water fisheries they are more diverse that excitement hasn't shifted yet so I really feel like we are at the tip of the iceberg and over next few yrs we are going to see people get more excited over fresh water fisheries. It is a challenge though bc for freshwater fisheries people tend to focus on back yard but start to see global trends but hard for people to do easy to id with marine issues if live¿.in terms of living along Mekong, list rivers, if you are living along the miss it is harder to care about it¿.but what people don't realize is that what is happening in the miss the Colorado, the great lakes, it is also happening in the Mekong, amazon, seeing same trends¿.in all of these diff places¿.. 10410

You said when you pull up basket hundreds of species

10441 THIS IS THE most productive fishery in the world 2 million tons of fish are harvested from the Mekong every year so hands down more than the amazon, more than the congo more than the Mississippi this is the most imp fishery in the world. 10453

When pull up basket during peak fishing

10503 hundreds of species of fish well not hundreds a hundred¿..when working on the Colorado or Mongolia or other places we tend to see 2 or 3 species of fish and here I don't know all the species of fish the people who live out here don't knw all species of fish. All of them. There are so many diff species

Like panning for gold

Z -for fish biologists, yeah.

10616 ID -I am zeb Hogan I am the flagship species coordinator

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