Cambodia’s fish output rose 10 per cent in 2013 from a year earlier, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Production reached 730,000 tonnes last year, Nao Thouk, director of the ministry’s fishery department, said yesterday. There were 550,000 tonnes of fresh fish, 100,000 tonnes of shellfish, and 80,000 tonnes of varieties bred through aquaculture.
Thouk added that Cambodia still imported fish from abroad in order to supply its hotels and restaurants. The country exported 20,000 tonnes last year.
Higher levels of rainfall and flooding led to the bigger catch in 2013, fishermen have said.
But Om Savath, executive director of Cambodia’s Fish Action Coalition, said that the increase wasn’t as high as it could be, and that unregulated fishing is getting in the way. Many of the fishermen Savath and his organisation talked to registered a larger volume of catches, but complained about the unregulated state of their industry.
“Until now, illegal fishing activity is still a worry,” Savath said, adding that if more can be done to crack down, licensed fish farmers will produce more for local consumption and export.