Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler

Pangasius bocourti & Pangasius hypophthalmus

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Vietnam
Production method — Ponds
Picture of Basa, Tra, Catfish or Vietnamese River Cobbler

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

Pangasius farmed to Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP 3* certified production standards is a better choice to make for this farmed species. The GAA BAP 3* certification addresses a number of issues of environmental concern, the auditing of which requires farm inspections to verify compliance with production standard critieria. There are a number of issues of concern associated with production, these include: habitat alteration; freshwater impacts; 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. It is only by sourcing certified pangasius that you can be assured that the issues of critical environmental concern are being addressed.

Feed Resources

Criterion Score: 2

Pangasius are a fed species, requiring a commercial diet containing fish and vegetable proteins and oils. Feed for GAA BAP 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.


Environmental Impacts

Criterion Score: -2

Pangasius have a number of environmental issues associated with their production, many of which are mitigated by the GAA BAP certification standards. These include: freshwater impacts and use; habitat impacts; chemical use, escape risk and disease transfer risk. However there are still issues that need to improve - data collection on the impacts of disease spread and the permitted use of lethal predator control.


Fish Health and Welfare

Criterion Score: 1

GAA BAP standards include requirements for fish welfare and humane slaughter.



Criterion Score: 2

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 data relating to disease risk is lacking and lethal predator control is permissible.


Production method


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
Coley, Saithe
Hake, Cape
Hake, European
Monkfish, Anglerfish
Pollock, Alaska, Walleye
Sturgeon (Farmed)


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.


Global Aquaculture Alliance BAP - Finfish & Crustacean Farm Standard (FCFS) equivalent 3*Issue 2, Revision 3, November 2016

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