The council is expected to consult with Sihanoukville authorities on whether there would be effects on local fisheries or the marine environment before making a final decision, said Hav Viseth, director of the Agriculture Ministry’s department of aquaculture, TheCambodiaDaily reports.
Ing Try, director of the ministry’s fisheries department, said aquaculture was the solution to rising demand for food along the coast, especially as natural fish stocks declined.
“The coastline of Cambodia is only 435 km. It’s not big. The tourists are coming, and if the number keeps increasing, how can we have enough fish?” he asked.
“We need to supply locals and supply tourists,” Mr Try said. “Most people want to eat seafood when they come to Cambodia…. Restaurants in this town, before, told me they’d go through 10 kg a day. Now some go through 3 tons.”
The $24 million proposal by Norwegian company Vitamar would create a coastal base and egg-hatching site in Preah Sihanouk province over the next eight years, and train some 200 locals in aquaculture and fish farming, according to local media reports earlier this year.
Vitamar declined to confirm its investment in the project. Vitamar CEO Bjorn Myrseth has started similar ventures in Vietnam, Chile, Scotland, Greece, Spain and Norway.