WWF’s members in 6 EU countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway and Denmark put Vietnam pangasius in to the Red List” (product shouldn’t be used) from the Orange List (product that can be considered for use) in WWF’s Seafood Guide for fish lovers 2010. The information was withdrawed from survey on assessing over 100 fish species in the world under WWF’s renewed criteria for sustainable development.
Vietnam rejected WWF International’s assessment on Vietnam pangasius at some respects. If the assessment was carried out in right way with consultation of relevant multi-sides and experts in fish production, pangasius should be placed at blue or near blue list.
WWF based on data collected from 89 farms with area of 360 hectares and 28 farming establishments and 4 hatcheries from an other document to release evaluations on pangasius.
The organizations didn’t use to visit Vietnam and provided evaluations only based on available documents. Research method set out by WWF International, the North Sea Foundation (NSF), the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) was relied on 19 questions. These questions depend on answers from many different people, leading different conclusions.
December 15th 2010:
Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish), Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Viet Nam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) and some other Ministries had a dialogue with WWF International delegation led by Mr. Mark Powell, WWF's Global Seafood Programme director. At the direct dialogue, WWF agreed to remove Vietnam Pangasius from the Red List in Seafood Guide and recommended consumers to continue using this product.
Mr. Mark Powell was highly appreciated Vietnam pangasius quality that is on sale in the EU markets and a lot of other foreign markets. He himself loves this product. He emphasized that Seafood Guide for Consumers was just a guide to advice consumers on purchasing environmentally friendly and sustainable products and should not be seen as a trade barrier that the U.S imposed on Vietnam fish.
Mr. Mark Powell admitted his mistake in assessing the facts on Vietnam Pangasius only based on available data of 2008-2009 without considering reality.
December 17th 2010:
Under witness by D-Fish, WWF International and WWF Vietnam, VINAFIS and VASEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sustainable development cooperation of pangasius production sector. Accordingly, VINAFIS and VASEP were in charge of popularizing information and training fish farmers and producers towards sustainable development. WWF International and WWF Vietnam must realize its 5 commitments, including the withdrawal of pangasius from WWF’s Red List, financial and human resource assistance to help Vietnam fish industry develop in a sustainable way.
After the MoU, WWF’s members in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway and Denmark withdrew Vietnam fish out of the Red List. WWF Sweden is the last one to implement this commitment.
Vietnam Pangasius is now placed in a new “towards certification” category of WWF’s Seafood Guide for consumers in EU countries.