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Photographer's Note

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Floating Misery #09




(Notes continued from yesterday)

The Vietnamese have a reputation for being more skilful in fishing than Khmer fishermen, and for employing the most up-to date techniques. Some destructive fishing gears are believed to be imported and employed by Vietnamese. For example, Khmer perceive that electric fishing, catching baby fish, seine net and poisoning of birds are the first practiced by Vietnamese. These perceptions have added fuel to the occasional incidences of violent conflict between ethnic Vietnamese and ethnic Khmer fishermen, as well as most recently between Vietnamese fishermen and Fisheries Department agents.

It is ridiculous to think that this and other casual evidence would be enough to blame the Vietnamese community for the Tonle Sap's woes. However it is at the same time reasonable to expect that this community may in fact practice non-sustainable uses of the lake, as they have far less reason to feel secure in their presence on the Lake than their Khmer neighbors. Any successful environmental awareness campaign for the Tonle Sap would therefore need to target not only ethnic Khmer, but also the Vietnamese and other minorities. Because of the official invisibility of the Vietnamese, such targeting is however not likely to occur. (Neou Bonheur & Benjamin Lane)






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Photo: Vietnamese vendors on the “mobile shop” move around the floating village of Chong Kneas to sell their merchandises, to buy back fish or recyclable items in metal and in plastic.



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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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