The construction of the Kingdom’s fourth fish breeding and production station broke ground this week on 10ha in Stung Treng province.

The more than $1 million project is funded by a World Bank loan and a contribution from the government. The construction is expected to finish by the end of this year.

Stung Treng provincial Fisheries Administration chief Tum Niro said on November 3 that the research station is the first large station in northeastern provinces and will support people in various provinces bordering Stung Treng.

“There is no such station in the northeastern provinces. Even though we build it in Stung Treng, this station will help to support other provinces around it.

“This station has two main benefits for nature and the environment. We can research fish species in Stung Treng and we can breed fish and then release them in natural lakes to increase production. Another benefit is boosting family economies and encouraging strong aquaculture,” he said.

Niro said while he did not have an estimate on the percentage of fishermen in the region, he believed that most people go fishing to support their family besides farming.

“The main goal of the government is to reduce dependence on nature by making people raise fish as a family business. There are not enough fish in the wild today to sustain demand,” he said.

Chheng Phen, deputy director general of fisheries administration, said once the station is completed, techniques for fish production and rearing can be transferred to farmers. He said training farmers in aquaculture promotion, fish production, and preparing places to breed main species in the large station can fulfil the needs of locals.

Cambodia will now have four fish breeding research and production stations (three freshwater and one saltwater). They are in Prey Veng, Kandal, Preah Sihanouk and Stung Treng.