1014 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Popular Panga

We have a great food programme on the Dutch television - "The food diggers CIA". The tv hosts go on a hunt to find out where a certain product comes from, what is in it and what the claims on the labels mean? During the last episode, they delved into the next big thing in aquaculture: Pangasius!

We have a great food programme on the Dutch television – where they investigate our daily food. The tv hosts go on a hunt to find out w here a certain product comes from, what is in it and what the claims on the labels mean? During the last episode, they delved in the next big thing in aquaculture: Pangasius!

The fish Pangasius, also known as sutchi catfish or striped catfish is a fresh water fish raised in the flowing waters of Mekong delta,Vietnam. It belongs to the family of catfish with more than 20 different species native in the Mekong River. It is called Pangasiidae or “Shark catfish” because of its sharp dorsal fins.

Success story

* Brunei, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand

[source: FAO Globefish]


New business opportunities



Vietnam developed a successful story with the aquaculture of 2 species of Pangasius. The Pangasius business started with the farming of Pangasius bocourti called “basa” in Vietnamese and then followed with the farming of Pangasius hypophthalmus called “tra”. The latter now represents more than 98% of the pangasius export. 

In 2006, Vietnam produced 600,000 MT of Pangasius and this figure is estimated to reach 1,000,000 MT by 2010.
With a continuous harvesting season, Pangasius fillet is available all year round. This fish is already being distributed into 70 markets of the world and is one of the most successful whitefish species of all times comparable to the seawater catches of Cod and Alaska Pollack. See the table below for some export figures from 2007.

Table – Vietnamese Pangasius exports Jan- Sept 2007

2007

'000 MT

US$ million

EU

125.7

348.1

Russia

27.8

54.1

ASEAN*

25.2

58.4

Ukraine

17

29.5

USA

16.3

52.8

China

13.8

30.1

Others

46.9

136.6

Total

272.7

709.6

The Pangasius presents new business opportunities in both local and export markets. This became very clear when o ne of the presenters of the television programme went to Vietnam – the heart of Pangasius production. By boat they went to a massive Pangasius farm, owned by a Dutch man. He said that Pangasius is getting very popular around the world. "It has a mild taste and it is an easy fish to farm" the farmer said. They are also easy eaters; having all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods, although they get a fully vegetarian diet more often. 

Winner
"With 1 billion pangas per year and 250,000 fishes in the pond, it is really a big business" says the Dutch Panga farmer. It is expected that pangasius will become the number one farmed fish in the future. Until now, salmon was the most farmed specie. It can certainly be stated that the
Pangasius changed the world of aquaculture and will probably be as - or more - successful as the Salmon or the Tilapia. 

Click on the icon to see an interesting video of a pangasius farm in Vietnam.


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