The Phnom Penh Post
A spate of reports by WorldFish, an international organisation that researches how fisheries can help reduce poverty and hunger, illustrates how the fishing industry supports the economic survival of many of the Kingdom’s inhabitants.
The reports give an inside look at the role fisheries play in driving employment in Cambodia, and provide a deep-dive into the minutia of the industry, such as fish prices and profit margins. They also come at a time when fish populations are increasingly threatened by controversial hydropower dam construction.
There is a strong demand around Cambodia for fresh fish, fish paste, fish sauce and fermented, dried and smoked fish. This demand drives employment for fishermen, middlemen, wholesalers, retailers, processors and exporters, one report noted.
In fact, more than 3 million people depend on the Tonle Sap lake for their livelihoods. And according to Pianporn Deetes of International Rivers, the food and agricultural systems of 60 million people hinge on the Mekong’s seasonal flood pulse and ecosystems.
What’s more, the reports argue, the economic benefits are probably underestimated.