Catch-22 situation for fish breeders, low price imports

Fish from the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers cannot feed all Cambodians as the number of the population grows. Cambodian people will partly depend on raised fish from Vietnam and in Cambodia.

Near Prek Pnov market, while fish vendors buy grown fish to sell at other markets, some fish farmers come to buy fry also brought from Vietnam to raise in different provinces.

Chan Thy, a 37-year-old fry seller, says she has sold fry for more than ten years as the number of fish farmers has increased.

She says she has bought ten types of fry to sell to fish farmers in the country. However, she says some fish farmers have complained of not making profits because of the cheaper raised fish from Vietnam.

“If they sell at the same price, they will not make any profits,” Thy says.

She says fish farmers have invested a lot of money, from buying fry and digging ponds to feeding the fry until they become large enough for sale.

“Depending on the fish species, some take up to one year until they mature,” she explains, adding that some kinds of fish can grow up in three months.

Thy says one pond with 150,000 fry consumes around 20 sacks of feed which costs a total of $300 per day.

“Before they become big fish, they eat a lot of feed,” she says. “If farmers catch fish at the same time when raised fish are brought from Vietnam, they will not make any profits and may go bankrupt.”

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