Last Update: December 2015
Pangasius farming in Vietnam covers an area of almost 6,000 ha (Directorate of Fisheries 2013), with over 75% of total production taking place in the Mekong Delta provinces of Can Tho, Dong Thap, and An Giang. The industry has grown significantly in recent years, exceeding 1.25 million metrics tonnes of production in 2012, making pangasius production one of the most intensive aquaculture industries in the world. Progress over the last decade has come through changes in industry and many problems have been solved along the way. However, outstanding issues such as disease management, cumulative impacts on the environment and effective collaboration within the industry still remain and will probably continue to be major challenges for the industry in the future.
List of all AIPs covered by the SR:
Dong Thap AIP (in development by local government and industry in Dong Thap Province, Vietnam)
SR-level improvement recommendations:
Ask the 1st-tier suppliers to retailers and food service should demand their suppliers to:
- Participate in the Dong Thap Zonal Management Project
- Become active members of VNPA (Vietnam Pangasius Association)
- Replicate the Dong Thap Zonal Management Project model in their main supplying provinces (for example: Ben Tre Province).
Start an aquaculture improvement project (AIP) applying one of the four models currently being used by industry to improve aquaculture practices. Each model can be used individually but they may also build off one another to ultimately lead to a full zonal AIP (for more information of the following examples please contact SFP).
1. Group certification to BAP/GGAP/ASC
Example: National Fish & Seafood efforts
National Fish has launched four small farm group pilots for the purpose of bringing small shareholder shrimp farmers up to the internationally recognized aquaculture standard for certification under the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program. For now, the focus is on bringing the farms in line with BAP certification and not on the broader (zonal) impacts. The group certification model does, however, include the need for an internal control system between the farms, so drives the need for some initial cooperation between the farms.
2. Core farm to create zone pilot
Example: Beaver Street Fisheries efforts
Beaver Street has identified a group of farms around its core supplying farm (which is already certified, but its neighbours are not) to work with on data sharing between farms on disease issues and water quality. It does not include all the farms in the region, but it is a good place to start a dialogue among neighboring farms and, it is hoped, will lead to a producer association more formally coordinating issues such as stocking and fallowing in order to further minimize disease risks
3. Full zone to BAP certification
Pilots will include an area of tilapia farmers in Hainan, shrimp farmers in the Gulf of Fonseca, and salmon farmers in Atlantic Canada
This approach will have a minimum requirement that the majority of farms in an identified watershed participate in coordinated stocking, fallowing, disease treatment, and information sharing to ensure disease mitigation. This is an industry-driven approach – it does not formally involve regulators –toward “area management” and is initially focused on disease management. Later evolutions of the standard will cover water quality and eventually feed, labor, and other issues for standardization across industries.
4. Full AIP (industry association/province level)
Example: Hainan Tilapia AIP (www.hntsa.org)
This type of improvement project needs the buy-in and participation of an industry association to develop and implement good practices by which all participants agree to abide, including those that would minimize disease risks and environmental impacts. The association will need to get the attention of government and research institutions to work with it. The overall goal is to bring good practices into effective industry planning and wider evidence-based policy around responsible feed ingredient sourcing, disease management, and environmental quality.
Objective of SR:
Minimize disease risks and environmental impacts of the pangasius industry through the initiation of multi-stakeholder aquaculture improvement projects, including the engagement of small-scale producers.
Progress Update 2014
Dialogue with Hung Vuong, Vinh Hoan, and VNPA to explain why disease control is necessary. Discussions with various first tier suppliers to establish the pangasius supplier roundtable.
Working with local scientists, NGOs, regulators and industry to establish a zonal management model in Dong Thap Province. This model is still in development.
Brussels Seafood Expo (May 2014) – presented disease risk issues
GOAL conference in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (October 2014) – presented the AIP model.
EU fisheries Forum (February 2015, Marid, Spain) – follow up on AIP models and disease risks .