January 2, 2019

Cambodia seeks Japan's help to develop local fish hatcheries


Cambodia is seeking Japan's assistance to help develop fish hatcheries in the country, Khmer Times reported in late December last year. 

The request is part of Cambodia's hope to improve local productions and reduce its reliance on fish imports.

During a meeting with a delegation from the Japanese parliament, Cambodian Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon brought up the likelihood of Japan availing expertise to Cambodia's aquaculture industry.

"We suggested that the Japanese government could support us [in] improving the operation of a fish hatchery in Preah Sihanouk province, and setting up a freshwater fish hatchery to improve the livelihoods of our farmers and boost fish production," the minister said.

In response, the leader of the Japanese delegation, Jun Tsushima, said that he will raise the issue back home and find ways of attracting more Japanese investors to the Cambodian aquaculture sector.

Japan could become a very important player in helping Cambodia improve fish production in order to meet local demand, according to Shetty Seetharama Thombathu, chief technical advisor for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

"There is a huge potential for investment on marine fish seeds, particularly those of high demand marine fish varieties such as shrimp, sea bass, grouper, shrimp and crabs. Domestic demand for seeds is high also for freshwater high-demand fishes, such as tilapia, common carp, Chinese carps, Indian carps and silver barbs," Thombathu commented.

He pointed out that Cambodian fish hatcheries lack the capability of making an adequate amount of seeds to meet demand.

"...we need more investments in hatcheries – both freshwater and marine hatcheries," he added.

Rising incomes and the increased number of tourists are pushing the demand for fish in Cambodia. Yet, imports have to make up for fish numbers that the country is not able to provide, Thombathu said.