PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) - Local and international fisheries scientists and economists gathered Thursday for the inception of a major four-year research project to assess the value of freshwater capture fisheries in Cambodia.
Despite global hunger declining, the number of people going hungry in Africa remains high with 30% of people reported to be undernourished in 2010. Fish are an important source of food for many African people, providing around 18% of their animal protein, but with a growing and rapidly urbanizing population and capture fisheries largely reaching their limit, many African countries are now looking towards aquaculture to supply an increasing demand for fish.
The Greater Noakhali and Greater Barisal areas of southern Bangladesh include large numbers of rivers, ponds, floodplains, waterlogged paddy fields, canals and tributaries of the Meghna River. These areas have a long history of fisheries production. In the past, fish farmers have depended on natural fish seed collected from breeding grounds such as Halda River. However, the expansion and intensification of aquaculture has reached a point where the demand for fish seed can only be satisfied by hatchery production.
To gain acceptance and remain competitive in international markets, aquaculture producers benefit substantially when their products are accepted by a recognised certification scheme. Statistics suggest that the majority of Asian aquaculture farmers are small-scale producers, but this is the group that finds it most difficult to comply with increasingly stringent production and trading standards. The WorldFish Center is working through an FAO Technical Cooperation Programme project to analyse the current aquaculture certification programs in Thailand’s aquaculture industry and identify recommendations for certification approaches and systems that are inclusive of and benefit small-scale farmers.