Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Pangasius bocourti & Pangasius hypophthalmus
Production country — Global
Production method — ASC certified
Pangasius farmed to Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified production standards is currently the best choice to make for this farmed species. The ASC standard certification addresses a number of issues of environmental concern, the auditing of which requires farm inspections and standard enforcement. In general there are a number of issues of environmental concern associated with production, these include: habitat alteration; nutrient and organic pollution; escapes; interactions with local wildlife and enforcement of regulations. Pangasius is a an omnivore and as such is not heavily reliant on marine proteins and oils to form part of its diet, however the fish used to produce the feed is currently not certified as being responsibly managed or sustainable. It is only by sourcing certified pangasius that you can be assured that the issues of critical environmental concern are being addressed.
Criterion Score: 2
Pangasius are a fed species, requiring a commercial diet containing fish and vegetable proteins and oils. Feed for ASC certified pangasius is traceable and is required to be responsibly sourced as far as possible. Pangasius require a low amount of fishmeal and fish oil in their diet making them a net protein producers rather than consumers.
Criterion Score: 0
Pangasius have a number of environmental issues associated with their production, many of which are mitigated by the ASC certification standard. These include: freshwater impacts and use; habitat impacts; chemical use, escape risk, limits on discharges to the surrounding environment and the use of lethal predator control. However the issue of disease risk and data collection need to improve.
Fish Health and Welfare
Criterion Score: 0
ASC standards include criteria for welfare but not for humane slaughter.
Criterion Score: 3
Overall the management of pangasius production is evaluated to be only partially effective. There is no Strategic Environmental Planning in place in the area that incorporates pangasius farming, there are regulations and/or certification criteria in place to cover the environmental impacts of production although these are assessed to be only partially effective as humane slaughter is not covered and disease outbreaks are known.
Farming in open net pens in river systems allows for interaction with the surrounding environment and, as such, has to be managed in such a way as to minimise negative environmental and ecological impacts.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler
Bass, seabass (Farmed)
Bream, Gilthead (Farmed)
Cod, Atlantic Cod
Cod, Pacific Cod
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
The group of freshwater fish known as catfish are captured from the wild or farmed for food and displayed in public aquaria dependant on the species. This farmed species natural habitat is medium to large rivers in Asian countries such as Vietnam, where they can grow up to 44kg.There are omnivores, feeding on a diet of other fish, vegetable matter and crustacea. Pangasius bocourti is one of the most important farmed species in Vietnam.
ReferencesASC Pangasius standard. V1.0. 2012.Available online at: https://www.asc-aqua.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ASC-Pangasius-Standard_v1.0.pdf. Accessed 27/07/2017
FAO, 2010. Pangasius hypothalamus (Sauvage, 1878)- Cultured Aquatic Species Information Programme. Food and Agricultural Organiation of the United Nations
SEAFISH, 2015. Responsible Sourcing Guide, Farmed Pangasius, 1-6
Tacon, A. G. J., Metian, M., 2015. Feed Matters: Satisfying the Feed Demand of Aquaculture. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, 23:1-10
Tacon, A. G. J., Metian, M., 2008. Global overview on the use of fish meal and fish oil in industrially compounded aquafeeds: Trends and future prospects. Aquaculture, 285:146-158
Bartie, K. L., Austin, F. W., Diab, A., Dickson, C., Dung, T. T., Giacomini, M., Crumlish, M., 2012. Intraspecific diversity of Edwardsiella ictaluri isolates from diseased freshwater catfish, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Sauvage), cultured in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Journal of Fish Diseases, 35:671-682
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Kurath, G., Winton, J., 2011. Complex dynamics at the interface between wild and domestic viruses of finfish. Current Opinions in Virology, 1:73-80
NACA, 2012. Eleventh Meeting of the Asia Regional Advisory Group on Aquatic Animal Health: Report of the Meeting. Network for Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific, Bankok, Thailand
Nguyen, Dang., Giang, C., Sebesvari, Z., Renaud, F., Rosendahl, I., Hoang-Minh, Q., Amelung, W., 2015. Occurrence and dissipation of the antibiotics sulfamethoxazole, sulfadiazine, trimethoprim, and enrofloxacin in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. PLoS One, 10:1-24
Pham, B., Thanh, C., Berntsen, J. O., 2012. Responsible and sustainable aquaculture towards sustainability?: Vaccinated pangasius in Vietnam. AQUA culture Asia Pacific Magazine, 36-37
Phan, L.T., Bui, T. M., Ingram, B. A., Nguyen, T. T. T., Gooley, G. J., Nguyen, H. V., Silva, S. S. De., Nguyen, P. T., 2010. Seed production practices of striped catfish, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus in the Mekong Delta region, Vietnam. Aquaculture, 306:92-100
Phu, T.M., Phuong, N.T., Dung, T.T., Hai, D.M., Son, V.N., Rico, A., Clausen, J.H., Madsen, H., Murray, F., Dalsgaard, A., 2016. An evaluation of fish health-management practices and occupational health hazards associated with Pangasius catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) aquaculture in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Aquaculture Research, 47:2778-2794
Phuong, N.T., Oanh, D. T. H., 2010. Striped catfish aquaculture in Vietnam: a decade of unprecedented development. In: Success stories in Asian aquaculture. Springer, p 131-147
Poulsen, A., Griffiths, D., Nam, S., Tung, N. T., 2008. Capture-based aquaculture of Pangasiid catfishes and snakeheads in the Mekong River Basin. Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations Consultancy
Schmitz, M., Baekelandt, S., Tran-Thi, L. K., Mandiki, S. N. M., Douxfils, J., Nguyen, T. Q., Thi-Thanh, H. Do., Kestemont, P., 2016. Osmoregulatory and immunological status of the pond-raised striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus S.) as affected by seasonal runoff and salinity changes in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry
Thuy, D. T., Buchmann, K., 2008. Infections with gill parasitic monogeneans Thaparocleidus siamensis and T. caecus in cultured catfish Pangasius hypophthalmus in Southern Vietnam. Bulletin of European association of fish pathologists Assoc Fish Pathol 28:10-15
Tu, T. D., Haesebrouck, F., Nguyen, A.T., Sorgeloos, P., Baele, M., Decostere, A., 2008. Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of Edwardsiella ictaluri isolates from natural outbreaks of bacillary necrosis of Pangasianodon hypophthalmus in Vietnam. Microbial Drug Resistance, 14:311-6