Sustainability survey principles and criteria preliminary results

Within the framework of the AquaCAM project, an analysis of the sustainability of aquaculture systems in Cambodia was planned. This including an analysis of the perception of the Principles and Criteria of Sustainability by the stakeholders. After that, a selection of indicators and their quantification would give a complete picture of the sustainability of aquaculture in Cambodia.

Unfortunately, Covid 19 has completely changed the work conditions and only laterin October, various meetings took place with partners to clarify the objectives of the study, to put forward a survey strategy and to allow the translation of the questionnaires. Finally, the perception and selection survey of CPs was tested in a real situation and after further exchanges and simplification, a questionnaire on the Principles and Criteria of Sustainability in Aquaculture in Khmer was finalized. Perception surveys only started in December

However, after few months, the preliminary results from the surveys of 173 stakeholders were obtained. They show a strong awareness of the sustainability of aquaculture in Cambodia, equally felt for all the four pillars of sustainability; even if, overall, the societal pillar shown statically higher score than the others. After regrouping stakeholders in five categories individual sum of scores (which is indicative of sustainability awareness) attributed to the principles varies little between categories, nevertheless, significant differences are observed between actors, with a significantly lower difference These initial results need to be confirmed and analysed further, particularly for the fish farmers’ category a sampling effort needs to be made for this category which is currently under-represented.

On December 12, 2020, teams from the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) and the Fisheries Administration (FiA), under the supervision of Mr SENG Samphal, Mr THAY Somony and Dr SOKKimchhin the investigations into the Choice of principles and criteria for aquaculture sustainability of the AquaCam Project have started. Several stakeholders were interviewed in Takeo, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Kandal, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Vend and Phnom Penh provinces.

Interviews were conducted with provincial and central fisheries officials, fish producers, fingerlings producers, fish sellers, fish importers, fish farmers, students and teachers.

Respondents willingly agreed to express their perception of the sustainability of aquaculture in Cambodia. They also said they learned about sustainability from interviews with the team. These surveys for sustainable aquaculture in Cambodia are continuing and should be completed in January 2021.