The Cambodian Aquaculturist Association (CAA) on April 19 called on relevant authorities and institutions to enforce compliance with fish-import regulations and facilitate transport for distributors to ensure adequate market supply of fish to reverse a recent price jump.

The appeal comes amid an April 15-28 lockdown imposed in Phnom Penh and neighbouring Takmao town to stave off the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The lockdown has kept fisheries products from arriving at distribution warehouses in the capital, leading to delays and triggering an “alarming rise” in retail market prices, the CAA said in a statement.

Small fish merchants and distributors in provinces near Phnom Penh and those in the city centre are finding it difficult to deliver their wares to market, it said.

Meanwhile, it rebuffed claims made by journalists and social media influencers that the increase in fish prices was due to a lack of market supply, chiding those who demanded large-scale fish imports from neighbouring countries.

The CAA noted that thousands of tonnes of aquaculture fish have remained unsold since January and that their market prices have “not increased at all”.

In an open invitation to the public, the association said: “If you want to get the contact number of fish farmers with stock, CAA will cooperate to help any venders at any time and get you the type you need.”