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Temporary ban on imported farmed fish

Chea Vanyuth / Khmer Times Share:
Two men fishing at the farmed fishing pond at Prek Pnov district in Phnom Penh. Ministry of Agriculture

All imports of farmed fish from neighbouring countries have been temporarily banned in efforts to promote locally farmed fish in the Kingdom, said Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries recently.

The temporary ban is following a meeting held at the ministry on January 8 together with Cambodian Aquaculture Association representatives, fish vendors, importers and exporters.

The ministry imposed the ban following requests by farmed fish breeders who said they are badly affected by the market being flooded with smuggled farmed fish from neighbouring countries.

The breeders also complained of the drop in prices for the domestically farmed fish due to a glut in smuggled fish.

The ministry in a statement said that farmed fish, especially catfish, giant snakehead fish and other farmed fish that can be locally bred, are now temporarily banned from being imported from neighbouring countries till further notice.

The ministry has also asked the Cambodian Aquaculture Association to collect in-depth data on the monthly total production of farmed fish, the types of fish supplied to the local markets, and the monthly consumption figures.

“Once we get the data, we can get the local vendors to buy our locally produced farmed fish to be supplied to the traders in the markets,” it said.

The importers and exporters of farmed fish have also agreed to the ministry’s decision.

During the meeting, the fish vendors have also agreed that they will cooperate with the ministry to buy locally produced farmed fish for their respective zone fish traders.

Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon had said last week during his visit to a farmed fish site in the northern part of Phnom Penh that the production of fish had increased notably following the government’s call for more local food production to meet local consumer demand which will in turn reduce imports of farmed fish.

Of late, he said, there has been a drop in price for farmed fish due to a glut in the market.

Sok Raden, president of Cambodian Aquaculture Association, said the aquaculture sector has grown significantly ever since the government came in support of the industry and has been encouraging increased production to meet local consumer demands.

He added that the association has 200 fish farmers who are capable and have the capacity to produce enough farmed fish to meet the demands of the domestic markets.

Raden said the technical assistance and support given by the ministry has helped boost the farmer’s production of farmed fish.

Figures from the ministry showed that the production of farmed fish reached 400,000 tonnes last year, while fish caught from natural lakes and marine fish were 413,200 tonnes and 122,700 tonnes, respectively.

 

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