With river and sea fish catches on the rise, revenue in Cambodia’s fishing sector reached $750,000 last year, an increase of $150,000 compared to 2016.
However, the sector experienced a drop in exports of fresh fish and processed fish products.
According to an annual report from the Ministry of Agriculture, 16,625 tonnes of fish were caught in Cambodian rivers last year, while 121,025 tonnes were fished at sea.
Farmed fish yields (including shrimp) increased by nearly 35,000 tonnes year-on-year, reaching almost 207,500 tonnes in 2017.
However, only 8,500 tonnes of fresh fish and 4,500 tonnes of processed fish products were exported last year, a year-on-year decrease of 600 and 700 tonnes, respectively.
Nao Thuk, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, attributed the hike in fish yields to ongoing efforts by authorities to crack down on illegal fishing operations, with more than 3,000 cases of illegal activity reported and stopped in 2017.
He said the rise in the number of fish farms across the country has also contributed to larger fish yields nation-wide.
“Illegal fishing has been successfully reduced, which has had an effect on increasing fish catches,” Mr Thuk said. “Also, a lot more people have taken up fish farming, instead of fishing at rivers, lakes or the ocean.”
The Ministry of Agriculture is encouraging fish farming to boost local production, meet rising demand, and help reduce imports from neighbouring nations.