Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler

Pangasius bocourti & Pangasius hypophthalmus

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Vietnam
Production method — Ponds
Certification

Uncertified


Picture of Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler

Sustainability rating four info

Sustainability overview

Pangasius that are not farmed to any environmental production standards (uncertified) cannot be verified to address a number of issues of environmental concern as there is a lack of auditing of which requires farm inspections and no production 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. ASC certified is currently the best choice to make for this species.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: 0

Pangasius are a fed species, requiring a commercial diet containing fish and vegetable proteins and oils. Pangasius produced to no recognised production standards cannot be assured to use traceable, responsible or sustainable feed. However pangasius require a low amount of fishmeal and fish oil in their diet making them a net protein producers rather than consumers.

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Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: -9 

Pangasius produced to no recognised production standards can have a large environmental impact, the extent of which is unknown as uncertified production is lacking in data. Issue such as freshwater depletion; habitat alteration; chemical and antibiotic use; unregulated discharges of sludge and pond water, reliance on wild caught broodstock, lack of data on disease transfer, small scale escapes and predator control methods are all of concern in the absence of certification and therefore traceability to production source.

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Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 1

The national VietGap standard whilst not addressing environmental performance does provide criteria for fish welfare and slaughter

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Management

Criterion Score: -1

Overall the management of pangasius production is evaluated to be only partially effective. There is a lack of Spatial Management that incorporates aquaculture production in the Mekong Delta and although there are regulations in place for many of the aspects of environmental concern there is not enough information in place to assess their effectiveness. The Vietnamese Government has committed to the 3rd party certification of all pangasius farms by 2020.

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Production method

Ponds

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.

Alternatives

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
Coley, Saithe
Haddock
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)
Tilapia
Whiting

Biology

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.

References

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

Chuah, L. O., Effarizah, M. E., Goni, A. M., Rusul, G., 2016. Antibiotic Application and Emergence of Multiple Antibiotic Resistance (MAR) in Global Catfish Aquaculture. Current Environmental Health Reports, 3:118-127

Crumlish, M., Thanh, P. C., Koesling, J., Tung, V. T., Gravningen, K., 2010. Experimental challenge studies in Vietnamese catfish, Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Sauvage), exposed to Edwardsiella ictaluri and Aeromonas hydrophila. Journal of Fish Diseases, 33:717-722

Da, C. T., Hung, L. T., Berg, H., Lindberg, J. E., Lundh, T., 2013. Evaluation of potential feed sources, and technical and economic considerations of small-scale commercial striped catfish (Pangasius hypothalamus) pond farming systems in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. Aquaculture Research, 44:427-438

Dung, T. T., Ngoc, N. T. N., Thinh, N.Q., Thy, D. T. M., Tuan, N. A., Shinn, A., Crumlish, M., 2008. Common diseases of Pangasius catfish farmed in Viet Nam. Global Aquaculture Advocate, 11:77-78

Ferguson, H. W., Turnbull, J. F., Shinn, A., Thompson, K., Dung, T.T., Crumlish, M., 2001. Bacillary necrosis in farmed Pangasius hypophthalmus (Sauvage) from the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Journal of Fish Diseases, 24:509-513

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