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Last Updated:[04-08-2009 08:44:26 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Cambodia Aims to Cut Lobster Imports Within Five Years

tradenews Cambodian government has launched a massive lobster hatching program to reduce dependence on imports. According to the Cambodia’s Department of Fisheries, the project initiated by the government will be able to hatch 1mn baby freshwater lobsters by late October.

Haing Leap, the deputy director of the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said 300,000 baby lobsters had been hatched since June by the Takeo provincial fisheries department. Subsequently, the 45-day-old crustacean small ones will be made available for the local farmers to buy at a price of $0.06 each.

In Leap’s opinion, the lobster program would help domestic farming industry to stand up on its own by lowering imports. He further added that about 10-20 tonnes of wild freshwater lobsters were harvested annually with a dependence of Vietnamese lobsters totalling 3 tons daily.

A lobster farmer said that he had plans of rearing 200,000 baby lobsters for the local market before the end of the year. The lobsters could be harvested for a minimum of six months and fetch around $15-20 per kilogram. Though 3 percent of lobsters die before reaching maturity, lobster farming was with fewer risks and there was a ready market for the produce, stated another farmer.

As per the Fisheries Department’s assessment, the farmers need at least 1.5mn baby lobsters, and department hopes to provide those numbers once the hatching season gets over in October. Cambodian government expects to be self-dependent on lobsters in next five years provided farmers could raise 1-1.5mn lobsters a year which would supply the domestic market with 70-90 tons every year. Haing Leap said that in 2005 the Japanese government funded a five-year, $5mn project to teach lobster-rearing skills to farmers in several provinces of Cambodia.

By Jose Roy

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