Fishing in Cambodia


All you need to know about fishing in Cambodia

The staple diet of Khmer is fresh water fish.  With the abundant supply of fish (said to be 600 different species in the Tonle Sap lake), it is not surprising that the Khmer love to eat fish!  The majority of Khmer families would have fresh fish at least twice per day except in areas where there are no permanent streams, rivers or lakes.  Here during the dry season they may have to catch frogs, crabs, snails, insects and in some places rats from the field!  Khmer, like their Thai neighbours will often eat any type of moving animal or insect to ensure a protein intake

Unlike westerners, fishing is not fun for most Khmer.  It is a daily chore performed mostly by men and boys who must find fish to feed the family each day.  The Khmer have many different techniques to catch fish but it often depends on the season and from where they catch the fish e.g. lake, river or field

Mostly they do not use a fishing line although you may see some children trying to catch fish this way.  They use a bamboo pole with a fixed length of fishing line which in this case gets dunked in the water

Other ways to catch fish in Cambodia include

For those taking one of our boat trips it will be possible to see many different fishing techniques however you will most likely see people fishing as you drive along the Khmer roads also

If you are in Cambodia during November to February, there is a week per month where you may be able to see lots of fishing activity along the riverfront in Phnom Penh.  Here the Mekhong and Sap rivers come together and the fish is very plentiful during this season.  The Khmer make use of this season and not only eat the fish fresh but dry, smoke, ferment and make it into fish sauce so they can use it during lean times as their main source of protein


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