The prevalence of unlicensed foreign vessels operating in Cambodian waters as well as the practice of vessels trading catches at sea rather than at port has become such a problem that in 2015 the EU restricted the import of fisheries products from Cambodia. Consequently, in August 2019 Minister of Agriculture H.E. Veng Sokhon announced that every fishing boat in the country will be tracked with EU-funded support by 2023. German company Weatherdock AG offers technologies related to real-time tracking of ships and boats; its tracking systems provide detailed position reports of objects in a “closed user group” in real time via AIS technology.
Reference projects have been implemented in many countries around the globe. The senior management of the company visited Phnom Penh for three days and met relevant government representatives and private sector, civil society, and development cooperation partners to present their technologies and services. „We are very interested in implementing a pilot project to combat illegal fishing in Cambodia with the support of German development cooperation“, said Weatherdock’s Alfred Kotouczek-Zeise und Felix Metzenthin.
Fisheries contribute 22% to agricultural share of Cambodian GDP with a total workforce of more than 400,000 people. Cambodia has one of the highest per capita fish consumption rates in the world, and fisheries are essential to Cambodia’s food security. At the same time, illegal fishing has become a major concern. While official exports of fishery products (fresh and processed) are low in Cambodia, large quantities of freshwater fish are traded informally with Thailand and Vietnam.
The meetings were organised by the Coordinator of the Global Business Network (GBN) Programme Cambodia, Bianca Untied; the GBN programme is implemented by GIZ in cooperation with the German Business Group Cambodia (ADW).