Press release

Study confirms vital importance of fisheries to Cambodia's Lower Mekong Basin

The latest WorldFish study confirms the vital importance of freshwater fishing to the nutrition and way of life of the Lower Mekong Basin population.

The study shows freshwater capture fisheries provide 47 to 80% of the animal protein consumed by those who live in that part of Cambodia. Fishing also provides livelihood opportunities on a large scale. Lack of quantitative analysis of the importance of fisheries in the region hampers rural development projects in the territory.

“Thanks to this project we shall be able to better quantify the role and value of fish in the life of farmers and rural people. Fish is partly monetized but a large share of the catch, consumed directly, definitely plays a crucial role in food security in Cambodia”, said project leader, Dr. Eric Baran.

The second year results of the continuing research project Assessing economic and welfare values of fish in the Lower Mekong Basin were presented in Phnom Penh on 28 June 2012. The team hopes provision of precise information about the role and value of fish will help policymakers plan future development strategies.

Funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research, the fisheries project assesses the value of four main components: welfare analysis, fish production, market prices survey, and a network of regional universities for training and capacity building.

“What makes this project unique is that in the past socioeconomists in fisheries tended to study the fishery sector, while socio-economists in rural development would rather focus on the agriculture sector. No-one looked at agriculture and fisheries together and studied the relative weight of fish in rural livelihoods”, said Alan Brooks, the Director of WorldFish Greater Mekong Regional Office.

WorldFish organized the workshop in collaboration with the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute (part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) of the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, and three universities in the region.

About WorldFish

WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.


CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

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