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USSEC Looks Ahead to the Future of Cambodian Marine Aquaculture

USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director - Aquaculture Lukas Manomaitis recently traveled to Cambodia to learn about that country’s aquaculture industry and specifically to visit the Marine Aquaculture Research and Development Center (MARDeC), which is Cambodia’s only marine fish hatchery site.  Mr. Manomaitis was contacted by the World Aquaculture Society’s Somony Thay, Deputy Director of MARDeC.  This hatchery is a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) -funded project and has the potential, if properly operated, to supply not only the needs of Cambodia, but also Thailand and Vietnam, due to its proximity to marine production areas in both eastern Thailand and western Vietnam.

Based on Mr. Manomaitis’ observations, Cambodia is unlikely to be a target for USSEC’s efforts for some time to come (the projected 2019 target is just 185,000 MT of aquaculture product).  There is, however, a strong interest in learning better approaches, both for general culture and, specifically, for feed-based marine fish culture.  Currently, both the government and the industry lack knowledge in best management approaches and the value of using feeds as compared to trash fish-based systems.  For this reason, USSEC’s visit was well-timed to introduce the concepts for better culture and aquafeed use to an audience searching for better approaches.
The information provided by USSEC during this visit to government workers and farmers in the industry was much appreciated.  Mr. Thay remarked that the training and discussion of hatchery management was of particular value and that he expected to see significant changes in MARDeC’s future approach.  The proper management, development and ultimate success of this hatchery will provide positive results for the local and regional marine fish industry.

Lukas Manomaitis poses with MARDeC hatchery staff during a recent USSEC visit and training session.