The protection of this unique area started by establishing the Community Fisheries Area (CFA) and the subsequent patrolling of it to prevent illegal fishing by the visiting Vietnamese fishing fleet. This protection not only prevents the devastation of fish stocks and the resident seahorse population but also halts the degradation of the marine habitat on which they rely for life. Simultaneously a research project funded by Projects Abroad volunteers on the condition of the reefs, seabed and seahorses of the CFA began and has been ongoing for a number of years.
Through the perseverance and hard work of all involved, this area is now a Site of Conservation Interest (SCI). Thanks to this designation by the Department of Fisheries (conservation) only licensed activities can now be undertaken in this area. As the tide turns to hope for this new CFA and SCI area, it is projected that a full recovery will be made, with biodiversity and an abundance of life bouncing back to full strength.
This project was only made possible with the support of local people. Through their empowerment this unique ecosystem can provide new jobs and incomes to those who call it home, lifting them out of poverty and improving their standard of living. The support of the Cambodian people in the protection of this natural and wild
resource will help to regulate long term development of the area so that people and the environment benefit equally and symbiotically.