Cambodia exported 10,980 tonnes of fishery products in the first nine months of this year – down 0.5 per cent from the same period last year – a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report said.

The Kingdom exported 7,000 tonnes of fresh fish (60 tonnes last year) and exported 3,980 tonnes of processed fish, an increase of 10 tonnes, the report said.

Freshwater fishery yield in the first nine months was 262,300 tonnes, 14,070 tonnes less than the same period last year, while the output of sea fish reached 88,100 tonnes – up 250 tonnes.

Eng Cheasan, the chief of the ministry’s Fisheries Administration, told The Post on Tuesday that fishery product exports have dropped slightly over the past nine months due to rising domestic consumption, accompanied by a decline in freshwater fish yield.

He said most of the Kingdom’s fisheries output is exported to Vietnam and Thailand.

While the ministry has taken measures to attract investors in aquaculture to meet the growing demand for domestic use and exports, he said, no large-scale aquaculture investments have been made.

Cambodia recently received $25 million in aid from the EU and $17 million from the US Department of Agriculture for aquaculture development, he said, adding that the assistance is expected to significantly boost the Kingdom’s fishery production over the next few years.

“This is just the beginning. The fruit will be reaped in the next few years,” he said.

As of the end of last month, the report said, production of farmed fish and shrimp reached more than 245,578 tonnes.

This is an increase of more than 42,130 tonnes compared to the same period last year. Fish hatcheries produced 158 million fries, an increase of about one million.