Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fisheries administration working to restore lobster market

Fisheries administration working to restore lobster market

Fisheries administration working to restore lobster market

120521_08

A lobster salesman earlier this year in Takeo province holds his product near the river in which it was caught. Photograph: Abe Becker/Phnom Penh Post

The government and international organisations are working to restore Cambodia’s once plentiful freshwater lobster market, officials have said.

Technically a freshwater shrimp, the crustacean is a popular foodstuff in the Kingdom, selling for up to US$10 for a single lobster.

Efforts are being made by the Fisheries administration to provide technical assistance on the farming and hatching of the lobsters and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided financial assistance to farmers since 2006, acccording to the JICA website.

They have trained 70 farmers nationwide and currently most farms are situated in Kampong Speu, Kampot, Takeo and Prey Veng provinces.

The centre for research and freshwater aquaculture of the fishery administration has hatched about one million lobsters, which is a step toward their stated goal of releasing seven million lobsters into the wild to boost numbers said Sam Narith, deputy director of the centre.

“Releasing young lobsters in the wild rivers is very important to increase livestock because lobsters are decreasing,” Sam Narith said, adding that “if we don’t do it, production will be less and less in the future”.

The lobster population has decreased drastically during the past 10 years, officials have told the Post.

Lobsters have been found in the current market to be 10 to 20 times more profitable than farming fish on the same amount of land.

Yan Dee, a lobster farmer in Takeo province has a seven-hectare farm and says he can usually produce around 70 kilograms of lobster per pond.

“Now I can deliver about 100 kilos of lobster to Phnom Penh alive every two weeks,” Dee said.

He reports he produces very nearly a tonne of lobsters a year, which he considers to be about one-tenth of total production in Cambodia.

Om Savath, director of the fishery alliance coalition team said that illegal fishing is still a concern for the fisheries sector, because there was a large increase in illegal fishing from March to April compared to the same time last year.

Om Savath said there are reports of corruption, bribery and misunderstanding of the law among fisheries officials that puts the future viability of the lobster in some doubt.

“Officials should crack down on illegal fishing actively, and they should continue to educate fishers not to use illegal fishing tools,” said Om Savath.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty