Guidance issued for protecting Cambodia’s marine life

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - A 10-point guideline was recently issued by fisheries Conservation Department on protecting the Kingdom’s marine life for visitors to Cambodia’s coastline.

A fisheries Conservation Department official on Monday reiterated a
recently issued 10-point guideline on protecting the Kingdom’s marine
life for visitors to Cambodia’s coastline.

The Fisheries Administration and Fauna and Flora International (FFI)
last week issued the 10-point guideline intended for international
tourists and Cambodians, including fishermen, on how to protect the
Kingdom’s marine ecosystem.

The guidance included not stepping on, buying or collecting coral, not spearfishing and not throwing litter into the sea.

Fisheries Conservation Department director Ouk Vibol told The Post on
Monday that in recent years, the number of national and international
tourists visiting Cambodian coastal areas had increased considerably.

As a result, plastic waste on beaches and the trapping of sea life has also considerably increased, he said.

“The 10-point guideline bans stepping or dropping anchors on coral
reefs, catching and trading all kinds of coral, especially in coastal
protection and resource management areas, because they take hundreds of
years to grow. Do not touch sea creatures such as sea urchins, sea
turtles and jellyfish.

“Swimming nearby or catching and trading in rare and endangered
species, such as whale sharks, is banned absolutely. The use of tools to
shoot fish, littering rubbish and other waste, especially plastic
waste, in the coastal area and the coastal resource protection area is
also banned,” he said.

The Fisheries Administration has designated seven locations as
coastal protection and resource management areas in Kep, Pursat, Kampot,
Preah Sihanouk and Koh Kong provinces. These areas are under joint
management by the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries Administration

The Law of the Sea Convention requires a precautionary approach that
takes into account the consequences of any activities that could
compromise the health and functioning of ocean ecosystems.

A recently published FFI report stated that living creatures found in
the sea are essential for maintaining healthy marine ecosystems that
support all life on earth.

“Compromising healthy marine ecosystems would have devastating
consequences for the planet and all life on it, including human life,”
the report said.

The sea produces more than 50 per cent of the world’s oxygen through
marine photosynthesisers like phytoplankton and seaweed, and it absorbs
as much as 85 per cent of anthropogenic carbon emissions, while around
the world, sea creatures provide more than 60 per cent of essential
protein for around one billion people.