ADB Provides Landmark Assistance to Cambodia’s Marine Fisheries Sector

Caption: Photo by Eric Sales/ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $73 million financing package to boost the climate resilience and sustainability of coastal and marine fisheries in Cambodia.

The Sustainable Coastal and Marine Fisheries Project will be financed by a $41 million loan from ADB; a $22 million grant from ADB’s Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s poorest and most vulnerable developing member countries; and a $10 million loan from the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund under its ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF). The Agence Française de Développement will also provide cofinancing equivalent to $20 million to be administered by ADB.

“This project is ADB’s first significant investment in marine fisheries and represents an important milestone for its Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies,” said ADB Senior Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist for Southeast Asia Alvin Lopez. “It responds to several key government strategies, including the Strategic Planning Framework for Fisheries 2015–2024, and the Statement of the Royal Government of Cambodia on Marine Fisheries Management Key Principles (2019) for the management, conservation, and development of sustainable marine fisheries resources.”

The fishery subsector is an important component of Cambodia’s economy, accounting for 8% to 10% of the country’s gross domestic product. Marine fisheries account for 13% of the fishery subsector; yet, overfishing and climate change have led to a substantial decline in fish stocks, which has impacted coastal communities and businesses and resulted in higher fish prices.

The project will strengthen Cambodia’s marine fishery while supporting its contribution to shared fish stocks and ecosystems in the Gulf of Thailand. It will help the country’s four coastal provinces—Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong, and Preah Sihanouk—reverse the sharp decline in fisheries, promote sustainable mariculture, and enhance fish landing sites to improve seafood safety. It is expected that under the project about 40% of the nearshore fishery will be regenerated into more productive and sustainable enterprise.

The project will promote private sector development by enabling coastal communities and small businesses to diversify their livelihoods, adopt sustainable practices, and grow into viable enterprises. It will also support women’s economic empowerment by scaling up women’s engagement in small and medium-sized enterprises. Overall, the project will benefit 25 community fisheries organizations and members of 15 community-protected areas, comprising nearly 20,000 households, as well as a wider coastal community of about 200,000 people.

ADB’s assistance under the project supports several key growth and development strategies of the Cambodian government, including its post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan and the country’s updated nationally determined contribution, which identifies climate resilience for capture fisheries and ecological restoration of coastal areas as national adaptation priorities. The project is aligned with ADB’s country partnership strategy for Cambodia, 2019-2023.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

This was first posted on the ADB website.


Last Updated: 29 March 2023