I’m an Aquaculture Development Officer of the Cambodian Fisheries Administration. For the past seven years, I have worked on fisheries research and conservation as well as aquaculture development, in addition to rural development, food security and nutrition. I am passionate about my work because I know that my efforts in aquaculture development help support people’s livelihoods and greatly reduce pressure on natural resources. Many threats have pushed some fish species to the brink of extinction. Therefore, aquaculture can play an important role in conservation and help to increase natural stocks. My work involves research, outreach, and providing training on aquaculture techniques to producers and other people who are interested in these techniques. I also raise juvenile fishes that are collected from the Mekong River as well as endangered species that are handed over by fishermen and aquaculture producers. These fish are reared in experimental ponds where I monitor their growth on a monthly basis. Some are released back to nature to increase wild populations or can be used as broodstock in the fish breeding process and for research purposes.
I feel energized about my work when I see people, fishermen, and aquaculture producers start to get involved in conservation work. I really want the Cambodian people to recognize that natural fisheries resources are currently not enough to meet their needs, and that some fish species are endangered and will likely go extinct if everyone tries to catch these natural resources. Thus, only conservation and aquaculture development can contribute significantly to preserve and restore natural fish stocks, as well as ensure food security and nutrition. I hope that endangered aquatic species in the Mekong River such as the giant catfish and giant barb will be taken care of and protected by the public. Most importantly, the giant barb is a symbol representing Cambodia. I want every Cambodian to know the giant barb and want it to exist in Cambodia forever.
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