After 4 years of hard work, frustration, struggle, passion and dedication, the 11 354ha Kep MFMA was nationally proclaimed in April 2018. This was a huge step forward for the protection of the Kep Archipelago, and for Cambodia.
Under the National Fisheries, Department of Conservation and with the support from Kep's Provincial Administration, The New Marine Fisheries Management Area in Kep Province was approved and promulgated by HE Minister of MAFF through proclamation N. 193 dated on 12 April 2018.
The Kep Archipelago MFMA is an 11 354 ha protected area. It is comprised of 4 different 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. The MFMA comes with a complete Ban on bottom trawling within the whole area which will be the biggest and most important aspect for the recovery of the area.
- 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.
As the driving force behind its creation, MCC is officially part of the provincial technical Working Group and management committee tasked with making this MFMA a success.
Our roles, include demarcation, combatting IUU, Research, Restoration, community outreach and general support to the department of fisheries conservation on many aspects of the newly developed 5 year management plan.