It is my great pleasure that I have the opportunity to deliver my short statement for Cambodia’s fisheries sector at today’s Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum.
Fisheries in Cambodia constitute both an integral part of rural livelihoods and a major contributor to the national economy and food security. Fish provides more than 75 % of the total animal protein intake in people’s diets and provide nearly more than 1.5 million full time jobs and involve at least 6 million people in the fishing activities.
The vision of the fisheries sector as stated in the RGC on the National Fisheries Sector Policy is the Management, Conservation, and Development of Sustainable Fisheries Resource to Contribute to Ensuring People’s Food Security and to Socio-economic Development in Order to Enhance People’s Livelihoods and National Prosperity.
The Fisheries Administration have undertaken strong and continuing effort toward improving the livelihoods of communities who are depending on the aquatic resources by improving access right to the use and sustainable management of the fisheries resources for both inland and marine. More attention has been paid to the marine fisheries including the development of National Action Plan on Coral Reef and Seagrass Management, 2006-2015, the establishment of marine fish sanctuary, the establishment of Marine Aquaculture Development Center and the establishment of the Marine Fisheries Research Institute. So far, the FiA has established 509 communities fisheries—fresh water (469) and marine (40). FiA has been working very actively to strengthen capacity of local communities through raising public awareness on the Fisheries Law, Community Fisheries Sub-Decree and related fisheries legislation and strengthening the management capacity of the community fisheries.
The Fisheries Law was recently promulgated by the King on 21 May 2006. The law indicates the roles and mandate of the new Fisheries Administration for sector development which is designed to transform the Department of Fisheries. The Proclamation on the Functioning of the Fisheries Administration has been discussed and sent to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for approval. The FiA has waited for the adoption of the FiA new structure. The new structure allows the Fisheries Administration to become a more effective service provider in the sector especially at the commune councils where substantial fisheries demands are there.
In the light of ensuring the fulfillment of the needs at local level it requires strong commitment from especially government agencies and development partners to work together to achieving the goal of the fisheries sector. Therefore fisheries activities should be integrated into development plans of relevant institutional levels including government’s ministries, development partners, NGOs as well as the commune development plans. FiA are making strong efforts to encourage everyone involved in communes, districts, provinces and nationally to ensure that Cambodia develops a strong and vibrant fishing industry vital for the economy of Cambodia and the health and wealth of the people.