Fisheries management in Cambodia is divided between central and local governments. At central level, the Department of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is in charge of developing research and drafting laws and policies on fisheries (and aquaculture). The Department is also vested with inspecting powers. At local level, fisheries are managed by the Provincial-Urban Fishery Authorities, which have the necessary powers to ensure compliance with the law, in the area under their jurisdiction.
Cambodia has no specific legal framework for aquaculture, considering that the Fisheries Management and Administration Law (1987) mainly focuses on capture fisheries. However, the new Draft Fisheries Law (2001) dedicates a whole chapter to aquaculture and makes general provisions on inland aquaculture and mariculture authorizations, water quality and discharge of waste matter, and import, export and transport of live or fresh fish and for processed fish products.
Furthermore, the development of freshwater and marine aquaculture is listed among the goals of the Agricultural Development Plan 2000-2005 and the importance of aquaculture development is underscored in the Second Five-Year Fisheries Sector Development Plan 2001-2005 .
With regard to regional arrangements, Cambodia has signed the Agreement on the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia and the Pacific (NACA) (1988) – together with Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam – and the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin (1995) between riparian countries (Cambodia, Laos, Viet Nam and Thailand), which establishes the Mekong River Commission.
Moreover, as part of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC), Cambodia participates not only in the several Departmental Programmes on aquaculture, but also in the SEAFDEC-ASEAN programmes, which include the promotion of mangrove-friendly aquaculture and the regionalization of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
Lastly, licences are granted for either one season or one year, except those concerning the establishment of fish processing industries, which may last until the end of the activity.
The new draft Fisheries Law requires a licence to be issued by the Fisheries Administration for the establishment of inland aquaculture farms, mariculture facilities and ornamental fish culture activities. The law takes into account particular species of aquatic animals (such as crocodiles, boas, tortoises, freshwater turtles and non-poisonous snakes, frogs or eels, and sea turtles), mentioning the size of the area or cage, or the quantity of specimens over which a licence is required.
The Regulations on the Creation and Designation of Protected Areas (1993) aim at preserving the land, wetland and coastal environments, through the establishment of:
Applications for local projects shall be filed either with the Provincial-Urban Environmental Department or with authorized Provincial-Urban Authorities. In the latter case, examination and approval of applications are subject to the Provincial-Urban Environmental Department review. Conversely, applications concerning national projects shall be filed with the Ministry of Environment and assessed in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Fisheries. Final decision is vested in the Royal Government. Not only new projects, but also existing and on-going activities shall undergo the EIA process. The application fee shall be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Economy.
According to the requirements set in the Annex to the Sub-Decree, applicants shall first submit an IEIA (Initial Environmental Impact Assessment) report and a pre-feasibility study to the Ministry of Environment (or to the competent Provincial-Urban Authority). The Ministry (or the competent Provincial-Urban Authority) shall give his opinion within 30 working days from submission, requiring or not a full EIA report and a feasibility study. After submission, the Ministry (or the competent Provincial-Urban Authority) shall again give his opinion within 30 working days. Reports shall include the description of the Environmental Management Plan defined for the project.
The new draft Fisheries Law requires aquaculture farmers to maintain land, water and environmental quality, as well as aquatic biodiversity, and prohibits the discharge of toxic waste matter in the fishery domain.
The new draft Fisheries Law makes provisions on the documentation required for the import, export and transport of live or fresh fish and for processed fish products and prohibits the import, export, trade, transport and processing of endangered species. The import of non-native species is subject to a «special permission» to be granted by the Fisheries Administrator.
According to the draft law, the import of live or fresh fish and processed fish products requires:
The Draft Sub-Decree on Sanitary Inspection of Animals and Animal Products (2002) puts in place a sanitary inspection system for the import, export and transit of all animal species, animal products, animal feed, means of transport, premises and related equipment. Furthermore, emergency provisions are made to contain the spreading of epidemic diseases. The Sub-Decree also provides for the establishment of sanitary checkpoints and quarantine facilities. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Department of Animal Health and Production are in charge of the matter.
As declared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Progress Report "Natural Resources Management" (2002), the Department of Fisheries is currently drafting a Proclamation on Fisheries Product Hygiene .
The transport of processed fish products is subject to a licensing system, as described under the paragraph on fish movement.
No specific provisions.
Draft Proclamation on Fisheries Product Hygiene. (Copy not available)
Draft Sub-Decree on Sanitary Inspection of Animals and Animal Products (2002). (Copy not available)
Draft Water Law. (Copy not available)
Proclamation on Competent Authorities in issuing Permission to do Fishery in Open Water, Aquaculture, Fish Processing and Special Permissions (1989)
Sub-Decree on the Organization and Functioning of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (2000). (Copy not available)
Department of Fisheries – Technical Paper No.4, Aquaculture Review –2001 (See §7 and 8 on Legal and Institutional Framework)
Department of Fisheries (Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project (APIP) – The Fisheries Component) – Legal Process Paper 01 "Establishing a Framework for Revising the Fisheries Laws" – Phnom Penh,1999FAO Fisheries Library
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO - Technical Cooperation Programme) – Cambodia - Fisheries Sector Programming Mission: Rehabilitation and Development Needs (a report prepared for the Administration of Cambodia by Csavas, I., Doulman, D.J., Petr, T.O., Prado, J., Debas, L.) – Rome, 1993(See §4 on Fisheries Legislation, Administration and Human Resource Development) FAO Fisheries Library – Report No: FAO-FI--TCP/CMB/2253
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Council for the Development of Cambodia, Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board) – Progress Report "Natural Resources Management" for the Sixth Consultative Group Meeting with Donor on Poverty Reduction and Governance – Phnom Penh, 2002