The Minister of Agriculture and the EU ambassador have met to discuss an 85 million euro ($100 million) project to develop Cambodia’s fishing industry.
Minister Veng Sakhon met envoy George Edgar at the ministry on Friday.
Mr Sakhon said both sides discussed a five-year Cambodia Programme for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in the Fisheries Sector.
He said the project would focus on management, monitoring, conservation, food safety management and assurance for and promotion of community fishery livelihoods.
He said there would be a meeting next week to review the project proposal at the headquarters of the European Union and he hoped to sign up for its implementation by the end of 2018.
“This project is very important for protection, preserving and developing the industry sustainably,” he said. “The ministry will provide the support to cooperate with the project as much as possible to achieve the expected outcomes.”
Mr Edgar said the EU continued to support Cambodia’s development, especially in agriculture.
“The EU is very pleased to support this project and make it a success to develop the fishery sector in Cambodia,” he said.
Besides the project, the ambassador and the minister also discussed topics such as management and control of illegal fishing and unregistered fishing boats, and amending the Law on Fisheries.
The minister agreed to chair an inter-ministerial committee to lead a meeting on an industry census. The minister also agreed to establish a working group monitoring management of forest resources.
According to a ministry report, the number of illegal fisheries shut down by authorities throughout the country totalled almost 4,000 in 2017, a 7.5 percent increase compared with 2016.
There were 3,888 cases of fresh water offences and 37 of sea water offences last year, the report said.
It added that authorities destroyed 150 kilometres of nets, while 80,000 kilos of fish were released.
The authorities fined offenders a total 230,665,00 riel, or about $60,000.