Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt planning $6m fish farm for coast's beleaguered fishermen

Govt planning $6m fish farm for coast's beleaguered fishermen

Govt planning $6m fish farm for coast's beleaguered fishermen

Long-term aim is for fishermen to move to farming, not catching, fish and shellfish, and local community says they are in favour.

THE government last week announced it will spend US$6 million to build a fisheries farm in Preah Sihanouk province that it expects will boost exports of fish and shellfish amid  rising global demand.

Nao Thuok, director of the Fisheries Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, told the Post Thursday the farm would eventually double the country's annual seafood exports from its current official level of about 5,000 tonnes, adding that it would also increase food security along the country's coastline.

"We will spend more than $6 million to build the farm on two-and-a-half hectares of the Tumnop Tolok area in Preah Sihanouk province," he said.

Nao Thuok said experts from Japan were currently examining the environmental impact of the farm, adding that he would request them to help fund the project.

Nao Thuok said the government wanted local fishermen currently living in the area to get involved with the project, and ultimately change to farming fish and shellfish rather than catching them.

Sok Kao, chief of Koh Khyong village in the Prey Nop district of Preah Sihanouk province, said people in his community had made great efforts to replant mangroves and sea-grasses and to prevent overfishing, despite suffering at the hands of large-scale development projects.

"We will be happy if this project doesn't cut us off from our fishing grounds," Sok Kao told the Post.

Lor Chhean, chief of the Thnuat Fisheries Community, said one problem for the community was that boats from Vietnam and Thailand regularly fished in Cambodian waters using illegal methods.This, along with a rise in the number of fishermen and companies dumping sand into fishing areas, had contributed to a 40 percent drop in catches in just a few years, he said.

"A few years ago we caught an average of 25 kilograms of fish, shrimp and crabs each day, but now we are catching less than one-third that amount," Lor Chhean said. "We hope our lives will improve and that the sea life will be increased once this project is completed."

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked