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Tonle Sap fisheries: a case study on floodplain gillnet fisheries in Siem Reap, Cambodia

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LAMBERTS, D. 2001. Tonle Sap fisheries: a case study on floodplain gillnet fisheries in Siem Reap, Cambodia. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. RAP Publication 2001/11, 133 p.

Gillnet fishing makes up a substantial part of the inland fisheries in Cambodia, which are important to food security and to the national economy. The Tonle Sap ecosystem is one of the most productive in the world. Although little studied, its productivity is generally attributed to the pulsed flooding and the specific vegetation of the huge floodplain.

Major habitat types are identified in the floodplain of the Tonle Sap based on macrophyte vegetation and flooding characteristics. These habitats are described in limnological terms and seasonal variation in water quality. This results in the definition of ecologically significant phases of flooding. Their impact on fishes and productivity of the lake are analysed.

The second part describes the fisheries of the Tonle Sap ecosystem and their management. Gillnet fishing in the different habitats of the ecosystem is studied and catches and productivity are compared. Data on biology and ecology of eight fishes of economic importance are presented. The final part describes the aquaculture of the Tonle Sap ecosystem.