Boosting the Responsible Stewardship of a Precious Fishery Resource: the blue swimming crab in Angkaol Village, Kep Province, Cambodia
The ASEAN-SEAFDEC Conference on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security Towards 2020 “Fish for the People 2020: Adaptation to a Changing Environment” in 2011 adopted the Resolution for SEAFDEC and ASEAN member countries to “optimize the use of inshore waters through resources enhancement programs such as promoting the installation of artificial reefs and structures, encouraging coordinated and effective planning for coastal fisheries management programs, undertaking environmental impact assessment studies, restocking of commercially-important fish species, as appropriate, and give priority to human resources development for the implementation of such programs.” In response therefore to such a provision, SEAFDEC/TD implemented in 2015-2019, the project “Promotion of Sustainable Fisheries Resources Enhancement Measures in Critical Habitats/Fishing Grounds in Southeast Asia” with funding support from the Japanese Trust Fund. The Project was aimed at gathering information for development of fisheries resources enhancement and habitat conservation measures in Southeast Asia; developing the capacity of human resources to implement the fisheries resources enhancement and habitat conservation measures; and promoting fisheries resources enhancement and habitat conservation measures suitable for respective countries in Southeast Asia. One of the major thrusts of the Project was to provide technical assistance and capacity building to target stakeholders on the rehabilitation of economically-important fishery resources as well as their habitats and fishing grounds. In this connection, one pilot activity carried out under the Project focused on the re-investigation of the management of the blue swimming crab resource in Angkaol Village in Kep Province of Cambodia, considering that more than 75 % of the local fishers in this Village depend mainly on blue swimming crab fisheries for their livelihood. This article describes the attempts made by SEAFDEC to assist the fishers of Angkaol Village not only in conserving their crab fishery resources but also in enhancing their capacity to sustainably manage such resources based on the EAFM concept.