Seminar on Aquatic Animal Health Management

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Friday, 12 July 2019 09:41

In collaboration with Fisheries Administration Cambodia (FiA), INFOFISH organised a “Seminar on Aquatic Animal Health Management and Compliance to International Trade Obligations” on 5-6 June, 2019, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The seminar was held as a part of INFOFISH services to its Member Countries and is a follow-up activity by the organisation for Cambodia in view of the quality issues and sanitary regulations raised in major global markets.

More than 62 participants from different departments and research centres under FiA, experts from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as lecturers and students from Royal University of Cambodia, Prek Leap National School of Agriculture participated in the seminar.

Director General H.E. Eng Cheasan mentioned in his opening remarks that FiA has been actively promoting Cambodia’s development to meet the increasing demand for protein from aquatic animals and plants, and that the future demand for aquaculture products will be 740 000 tonnes by 2024 which is increasing by 20% per year. The goal of the National Strategy Plan for Aquaculture Development in Cambodia (2016-2030) is to establish a commercially viable and environmentally sustainable aquaculture sector contributing to food security and nutrition, socioeconomic development, GDP and export earnings. He was pleased to note that INFOFISH and FiA enjoy good collaboration and said that the seminar will be useful in sharing knowledge on aquatic animal health management as well as on the safe and responsible trade of aquatic products in local and international markets.

Participants were presented with a series of lectures on various topics, including fish health management and food safety issues, a global overview of aquatic animal health, and aquatic animal management in Bangladesh, HACCP and compliance to other international trade obligations.

H.E. Eng Cheasan, Director General, Fisheries Administration Cambodia, delivered the opening speech

Among the speakers were Dr. Rohana Subasinghe, an International Consultant and former head of FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, who said that “The aquaculture industry is losing US$6 billion due to disease outbreaks, hence biosecurity and aquatic animal health management should be the bottle neck for increasing production”. Iddya Karunasagar, ex-FAO Senior Food Safety Officer’s presentation was read out: “The US, Japan and the EU together account for about 64.5% of the global seafood imports in 2018. Ensuring food safety will be the first step to enter into the world’s largest seafood markets”.

Khan Chan Dara, Officer at the Aquaculture Research and Development Centre (FARDeC) mentioned that “Cambodia needs SOP for disease control and management”. Meanwhile, the Marine Aquaculture Research and Development Center (MARDeC) has identified eight ecto-parasites in seabass farms during fish health surveys since 2018”, stated Tey Toeng, Officer at MARDeC. Dr. Khov Kuong, Deputy Director, Department of Fisheries Post-Harvest Technology and Quality Control, revealed that “Cambodian exports have reduced since 2010 and are now limited to Asian and ASEAN countries”.

Participants also had the opportunity to visit a Pangasius farm in Chrouy Changvar District near Phnom Penh city.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Hav Viseth, FiA Deputy Director General mentioned that although Cambodian aquaculture is now showing more rapid growth, it continues to face many challenges such as fish diseases, low quality fish fry and fingerlings, limited access to new technologies, lack of adequate sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards, and poor connectivity to both local and international markets. Dr. Viseth said that the seminar and farm visit will have enabled the participants to understand aquatic animal health and trade obligation issues more precisely. He also added that FiA would like INFOFISH to continue providing support in enhancing the sustainability of the country’s aquaculture industry.

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