In January, the 2nd MFMA of Cambodia was provincially signed, allowing us to start deploying our conservation and anti-trawling
For those who don’t know, let us introduce you to it.
The Kep Archipelago MFMA is an 11 354 ha protected area. It will offer 4 differently managed zones, designed to protect highly sensitive seagrass meadows and coral reefs from further destruction while preserving the livelihoods of local fishing communities, all of which are suffering due to illegal and destructive fishing activities.
- Conservation Area (112ha): Defined as
potentialarea for aquatic animals and aquatic plants to shelter, to spawn, feed, and grow. Fisheries Conservation Areas are strictly prohibiting any activity that has a negative effect on fishery resources, except for permitted scientific research purposes from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
- Fisheries Refugia (420ha): Defined as
specificarea for one or more aquatic species in the period of criticallife cycle. Fishing and other activities inside fisheries refugiasare strictly prohibited during the protected period; howeverthe family fishing activities and other activities, which are not harmful to fisheries resources, are allowed as usual, after the Protected Period. Protected periods will vary in timeframe, and are catered to each Fisheries Refugia in order to reflect the species biology and habitat unique to that area.
- Fisheries Protected Area (10040ha): Defined near or close to fisheries conservation area, in order to secure the sustainability of the fisheries resources. Fisheries Protected Areas can be used for ecotourism activities,
family scalefishing or recreational fishing that will not harm coral reef or biological resources.
- Recreational and Research Area (405ha): Defined as an area exclusive to recreational activities and protection of biodiversity resources, ensuring benefit from
sustainabetourism. This area is allowed for recreational diving, snorkeling, and for collecting scientific information and monitoring resources change/trend. All kind of fishing activities arebanned inside this area.
To improve the MFMA efficiency, MCC developed the Conservation and anti-trawling structures (CANTS), with four primary functions: (i) prevent illegal and destructive trawling; (ii) improve water quality in the entire Kep Archipelago; (iii) delimit the boundaries of the five different zones of the MFMA; (iv) act as a marine life aggregation
Thanks to a modular design, the CANTS can be built to different heights at various depths, thus avoiding impacts on regular and legal navigation, while having the potential to enhance and reinvent small-scale fisheries. This system (exclusive to MCC and Cambodia) will provide practical solutions to the inter-linked problems (often tackled in isolation) of poor water quality, collapsing local fisheries, increasingly impoverished communities, lack of marine areas under effective conservation management, and climate change.
MCC will have to deploy 47 of these structures, which represents 983 concrete blocks! Our team will progressively build it, stock it, and wait for the good conditions to deploy it underwater.
If you want more
It will explain you, through a short video, why Kep Archipelago