This booklet was prepared for the readers to easy understand about Vietnamese Pangasius and Pangasius industry.

Vietnamese Pangasius are highly appreciated by local and international consumers, not only for its high nutritious value, white muscle, without horizontal bones, without smell of sediment and seaweed a little of taste lipid content, but also for its safety to all consumers in all age groups.

Vietnamese Pangasius is a species of traditional farming by farmers in the Mekong River Delta. To meet high demand of global and domestic consumers, after 10 year development since 1996, fish farming area has been expanded nearly 6,000 hectares in 10 Mekong Delta provinces.

Most of fish farming area are strictly managed in accordance with national regulations on food safety and environmental protection. Until June 2012, over a half of fish farming area nationwide is audited and certified by internationally sustainable standards such as GlobalGAP, AquaGAP, BAP/GAA and ASC (recently certified). The process of auditing and certifying for Vietnamese pangasius is being carried out strictly according to requirements of consumers which proved that Vietnamese pangasius is not only loved by tasty smell with high nutritious value but it also satisfies strict requirements of the market.

Vietnam has nearly 100 pangasius exporting and processing companies in which their processing facilities are equipped modern equipments and controlled in accordance with HACCP. Pangasius products are being exported to 145 countries and territories worldwide such as EU, the U.S., ASEAN, Canada, the Middle East, China, Japan, etc. Fish export volume and value to markets reported steady annual growth of 10 - 18 percent, worth by US$1.8 - 2 billion per year in two recent years.

The booklet compiled under the Q & A form provides basic knowledge of pangasius, techniques of farming and processing, quality management, information of importers and the government’s regulations on breeding, processing and exporting specific fish products.


Editorial Board

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)

Head office: 218 street No.6, Lot A, An Phu - An Khanh New Urban Area, District 2, Hochiminh, Vietnam

Tel: (+84 8) 6281 0430 / Fax: (+84 8) 6281 0438


Rep. office: 10 Nguyen Cong Hoan street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Tel: (+84.4) 3771 5055; Fax: (+84.4) 3771 5084



When does the Pangasius rearing exist in Vietnam?

Pangasius rearing has traditionally been carried out in the Southern of Vietnam since the 1950s.  Tra fish can be reared in pond or cage and Basa fish mainly in cage. 

Cage rearing was originated from Tonlesap of Cambodia and has initially been applied in Chau Doc, Tan Chau (An Giang province) and Hong Ngu (Dong Thap province) since 1950s by repatriate Vietnamese. With the advancement and completion of experience and techniques, cage rearing became complete and stable. The greatest number of cages in 2004 was 2,333 units. Up to April, 2009, the number of cages was just over 100 units.

Rearing Tra fish in pond has been started in Mekong River Delta since 1970s and until now most of Pangasius to process for export is used this way of aquaculture.

Where is the source of the breeding stock:

The source of Tra and Basa breeding stock initially depended on natural capture. Annually, at the beginning of lunar May, when rainwater from the upstream of the Mekong River drained out, fishermen in Tan Chau (An Giang) and Hong Ngu (Dong Thap) used a funnel shaped net, called “day” to catch fry. The later were transported to ponds and reared into fingerlings with a length of 7 - 10cm which were then sold to farmers in the whole Southern regions to be raised in pond or cage. Hatcheries were mostly located in Tan Chau, Chau Doc, Hong Ngu and islands of Tien River, such as Long Khanh, Phu Thuan. During the 1960s and 1970s, number of annually caught fry varied from 500 to 800 millions individuals, and of fingerlings from 70 to 120 millions.

Researches on artificial propagation of Pangasius in Vietnam were respectively undertaken in 1978 and 1990. The first successful artificial propagation had been done in May 1995 in laboratory of Can Tho University, under the framework of joint research between  the “Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement” (CIRAD) - France, University of Can Tho and Fisheries Import and Export Joint Stock Company (AGIFISH Co.). Until 1999, as Vietnam became active and socialized the artificial propagation of Tra and Basa breeding stock, the wild fry catching had been stopped. Since then, Pangasius culture in Vietnam becomes stable and has been dramatically increased. Pangasius production reached to 1.4 millions tons by the end of 2011.