Authors: K. Kwasek, S. Chea, J. Tsatsaros, G. Johnstone and M. Phillips
In Cambodia, fish provide a major source of animal protein for rural households. Capture fisheries have declined and aquaculture has been identified as playing an important role in food and nutritional security and rural income generation. In 2011, WorldFish, in partnership with the Stung Treng Fishery Administration Cantonment and the Culture and Environment Preservation Association, aimed at improving the uptake of small-scale aquaculture by communities with limited experience in fish culture in Stung Treng Province in northeast Cambodia.
The system was given the name “WISH ponds,” derived from the combination of the words "water" and "fish" to reflect the integration of fish cultivation with water for storage and vegetable growing. It was targeted towards households with limited space to construct large aquaculture ponds, such as peri-urban households. The study indicated that WISH ponds can create an important learning platform for communities to address challenges associated with small-scale aquaculture development by using scientific data generated and owned by the participants. Results from this 2011 study provided important insights into the challenges and constraints for introducing small-scale aquaculture into rural households in Cambodia.
In mid-2013, WorldFish won a Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation grant, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, to build upon its successful engagement with communities in northeast Cambodia where WISH ponds had already been introduced and investigate scaling this technology to establish more WISH ponds in these communities.
Illustration Photo: Hatcheries in Stung Treng, Cambodia (credits: Karolina Kwasek / WorldFish / Flickr Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))