FAO in Cambodia

Cambodian fisheries officer puts new skills to use

(16.01.2013) Mr. Em Phea, Chief of Division Fisheries Administration Cantonment of Cambodia’s Kompong Som province has been working for the Fisheries Administration (FiA) for more than 20 years and as a key figure in the Kompong Som FiA has worked closely with RFLP. He was trained by RFLP in marine survey techniques from May to December 2011 and also participated in a ten-day aquaculture good practice training course in October 2011. In addition, Mr. Em has been involved in the monthly and bi-monthly meetings between the FiA and Community Fisheries supported by RFLP as part of the co-management process.

According to Mr Em after being trained on marine resource survey techniques he has put the skills to use conducting research at Koh Rong Sanloem on coral reefs, fish catch and species. Along with his team he dives and collects different types of data. “I could dive before but did not know how to dive deeper, have any proper equipment or know data gathering techniques. If FiA want to carry out more research I am now much more confident. Before I did not know how to do this but now I can do so with a team. I have learned up to 80 percent but would like to learn more,” he said.

“Before attending the training on good aquaculture practice I had limited knowledge on this area. The training has helped me to be more confident in interacting with farmers. I have put the training to use as lots of people in the area are doing small scale aquaculture. After the training, there was a field activity conducted and I had the opportunity to transfer what I have learned to the famers in my district. I could tell them if they are doing it properly or not.”

“I often visit fish ponds. These are mainly fresh water aquaculture of tilapia, silver barb and snake head. During my visit, I could see that farmers now pay a lot of attention to aquaculture and ask me many questions on techniques and practices.”

“Aquaculture is an important livelihood option for many people. Before there may have only been a few families doing it but now many more, maybe 100 families in this district. Of these some sell the fish while others keep it for their own consumption. The main difficulty is that they do not know how to breed. If we can breed by ourselves it will be much better.”