WISHH Perspectives

As Wild-caught Fish Supplies Dwindle, WISHH’s CAST Works to Close the Gap

Freshwater fish are the mainstay of the Cambodian diet, but as catch yields dwindle, ASA/WISHH’s Commercialization of Aquaculture for Sustainable Trade-Cambodia (CAST) team is stepping in to help fill the production gap with high-quality affordable farm-raised fish.

In 2021, the wild catch yield throughout Cambodia decreased by 8.5%. According to a recent article in the Phnom Penh Post, the Cambodian Fisheries Administration attributes this concerning issue to climate change, low river levels and the degradation of fish spawning areas.

The CAST project is focused on the development of long-term sustainable fish production in Cambodia.  CAST is conducting applied research, training aquaculture farmers, and educating the public on new production practices that will increase yields while minimizing waste and environmental impact.  The CAST team is introducing techniques and technologies ranging from floating cages, to modernized feeding and biosecurity protocols, and improved transport and processing. More than 600 hardworking Cambodian fish farmers and other supply chain members are working with CAST to increase production to meet the growing market demand.

CAST is a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food for Progress-funded project to accelerate production of high-demand fish species for the Cambodian market and develop a lasting aquaculture industry. CAST strengthens Cambodian enterprises’ production of high-quality inputs and fish all along the freshwater aquaculture value chain. Through CAST, Cambodia’s private sector and universities work closely with U.S. soybean growers, businesses, as well as academic institutions and non-governmental organizations

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