Tue, 31 Jan 2023

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a financing package of 73 million U.S. dollars to boost the climate resilience and sustainability of coastal and marine fisheries in Cambodia, said its press release on Thursday.

The package included the bank's 41-million-dollar loan and 22-million-dollar grant as well as a 10-million-dollar loan from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, the press release said.

"This project is ADB's first significant investment in marine fisheries and represents an important milestone for its Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies," ADB senior natural resources and agriculture specialist for Southeast Asia Alvin Lopez said.

He said the project responded to several key government strategies, including the strategic planning framework for fisheries and the statement of the Cambodian government on key principles of marine fisheries management for the management, conservation, and development of sustainable marine fisheries resources.

According to the press release, the fishery subsector is an important component of Cambodia's economy, accounting for 8 percent to 10 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Marine fisheries account for 13 percent of the fishery subsector, yet over-fishing and climate change have led to a substantial decline in fish stocks, which has impacted coastal communities and businesses and resulted in higher fish prices, it said.

The project will strengthen Cambodia's marine fishery while supporting its contribution to shared fish stocks and ecosystems in Cambodia's coastal provinces.

"It will help the country's four coastal provinces, including Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong and Preah Sihanouk reverse the sharp decline in fisheries, promote sustainable mariculture and enhance fish-landing sites to improve seafood safety," the press release said.

"It is expected that under the project about 40 percent of the nearshore fishery will be regenerated into more productive and sustainable enterprises," it added.

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