Cambodia is home to 850 freshwater and 435 marine fish species (Wikipedia), for example the Mekong giant catfish and the threatened Irrawaddy dolphin. Fish accounts for around 75% of the population’s animal protein consumption and is especially important for the rural poor (WWF Cambodia).

In 2013, total fish catchment consisted of 73% freshwater fish, 14% sea fish, and 13% aquaculture. While the government plans to increase productivity, there are signs that the productivity and diversity of Cambodian fisheries is declining. The main reasons are harvests exceeding sustainable limits, illegal and destructive fishing methods, population increase and destruction of floodplain habitats. One study predicts a 40-60% decline in inland fishery yields for Cambodia and Vietnam in the foreseeable future (Open Development Cambodia and WWF Cambodia). Such a development would put considerable strain on Cambodia’s poor rural communities.