Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Feeling the pinch and saying goodbye Whats this?
Click on to find out more.

Fishing villages in the Mekong River Basin blame dams in Laos for their plight

Feeling the pinch and saying goodbye

Outh Hien holds up his catch from five attempts with the net. He says fish catches are so pathetic that his grandchildren will not carry on the family fishing tradition. (Photo by Luke Hunt)

Luke Hunt, Samraong

November 23, 2016

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

For centuries Outh Hien's ancestors fished the waters of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River. It was a lifestyle that put food on the table and gave birth to a culture that supported millions of fishing families who live along the muddied river banks.

That almost came to an end with the Khmer Rouge who wiped-out a third of the population — or about two million people — during their bloody reign, including all of Outh Hien's family leaving the 69-year-old as the last of his lineage to ply these waters. 

"They killed my parents, brothers, sisters, 12 people. We always fished and that kept us going through good times and bad," he said, shaking his head. "Under Pol Pot, 1975 to 1979, it was very bad."

To read more
subscribe to UCAN Premium Content today.

Want more stories like this?
Sign up to receive UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters (You can select one or more)
Want more stories like this?
Sign up to UCAN Daily or Weekly newsletters
You can select one or more
First Cut
Morning Daily
(Morning Daily)
Full Bulletin
Afternoon Daily
(Afternoon Daily)