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Empty Nets Syndrome: How young fishing families on Cambodia’s Mekong are struggling to survive by Corinne Redfern April 16,2018   |  Source: Global Voices

Two weeks ago, shortly after it turned 2am, Sami’s boat rolled over on the waves of the Mekong river and tipped all of her possessions into the water—including Lydie, her newborn daughter. ‘Just like that, she was gone,’ the 16-year-old remembers. Unable to sleep as the wind tore at the tarpaulin that served as a meagre shelter from the elements, Sami had spent the previous two hours sitting with her knees pulled against her stomach, wishing they were back on shore. While the storm raged around them her 25-year-old husband Luc, face fixed in a frown, was busy spreading his weight across the hand-carved boat’s wooden hull in an attempt to stop their little home from capsizing.

All the while, their daughter had slept peacefully in her dark green cotton hammock. “I didn’t even have to rock her,” Sami says now. “The wind was strong enough to do that for me.” As the storm gathered force, she thought about taking Lydie into her arms for safety. “But I didn’t know whether it was better just to let her be. And when the boat fell, I couldn’t grab her in time. Suddenly I was just under the water, and everything was cold and black.”

Luc reached Lydie first. Diving deeper under the water, he pushed the rapidly sinking pots and pans and clothes out of the

Theme(s): Landing Centres, Post Harvest Technology and Trade, Others, Freshwater ecosystems and threats, Fisheries Resources, Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods, Communities and Organisations, Fisheries Development and Aquaculture, Coastal Ecosystems and Threats.

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