Cambodia's marine fishery development will usher in new opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has recently approved a new financing plan to improve the sustainability of Cambodia's coastal and marine fishery development.
The sustainable coastal and marine fisheries project will be financed by a $41 million loan from the Asian Development Bank, a $22 million grant from the Asian Development Fund, and a $10 million loan from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.
AFD will also provide co-financing equivalent to US$20 million, to be managed by ADB.
According to the Asian Development Bank, the project is in line with Cambodia's "2015-2024 Fisheries Strategy" and the Cambodian government's key principles on the management, protection, and development of sustainable marine fishery resources.
According to reports, the fishery is an important part of Cambodia's economy, accounting for 8% to 10% of GDP. Marine fisheries account for 13%of fisheries.
However, overfishing and climate change have led to dramatic declines in fish stocks, impacting coastal communities and businesses and driving up fish prices.
The project will strengthen Cambodia's marine fisheries and help four coastal provinces, including Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, and Sihanoukville provinces, promote sustainable mariculture.
Cambodia's fish production has increased, ranking high in the fishery world.
From January to June, freshwater fish production reached 167,950 tons, 380 tons more than in the same period last year. Marine fish production increased by 350 tons to 5,700 tons.
Production from fish farms rose strongly to 112,846 tonnes, 18,808 tonnes more than last year.
Exports of fresh fish products rose by 80 tons to 5,460 tons, while exports of processed fish products increased by 30 tons to 3,250 tons, the report showed.
Cambodia's inland fish catch is mainly exported to Singapore, Malaysia, and China, while the marine fish catch is mainly exported to Thailand and Vietnam.
According to the report, 1,321 illegal fishing operations were detected and stopped in the first half of this year, a decrease of 126 compared to the first half of 2018.
Cambodia has rich fishery resources. Fish is a traditional staple in the Cambodian diet and is essential for nutrition and food security.
The country's inland fishery is part of the Mekong Basin, the largest inland fishery in the world, catching about 2.1 million tons of fish each year. Cambodia's fishery resources are also unrivalled globally.
The country holds two world records: the highest per capita inland fishery catch and the highest per capita consumption of freshwater fish.
According to the 2015 World Fisheries Report, Cambodians are among the highest freshwater fish consumers in the world, with per capita fish consumption estimated at 52.4 kg.
Fishing, breeding, processing, trade, and transportation of Tonle Sap Lake have about 2 million people.