Aquaculture is often regarded by many development planners as one of the key drivers to reduce poverty and replace the supply of fish likely to be lost from natural systems as a result of over-exploitation, dam development and possibly climate change. This project analyzed the potential impacts of the decline of fish supplies in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB), with particular regard to the investment requirements, the potential benefactors and the extent to which aquaculture will fill the gap. The project also addressed how the rising demand will be met even if capture fisheries production is sustained.
The project team worked with the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia (FiA) and Inland Fisheries Research Development Institute (IFReDI) in undertaking initial research to determine fish supply and demand scenarios in Cambodia. These scenarios were reviewed with respect to the aquaculture sector development trajectories of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to draw wider perspectives of aquaculture in the region. The project ended with a national workshop and the launch of a 20 page communication product targeting a wide audience, detailing the investment options required in order to achieve a range of possible and plausible development scenarios to meet national fish supply and demand through aquaculture. This range of consensus generated scenarios will be used to develop future investment options for aquaculture in the LMB.