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Estimation of nitrogen and phosphorus in effluent from the striped catfish farming sector in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

journal contribution
posted on 2010-11-01, 00:00 authored by S De Silva, Brett Ingram, P Nguyen, T Bui, G Gooley, Giovanni Turchini
In this study an attempt is made to estimate nitrogen and phosphorus discharged to the environment from the striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) farming sector in the Mekong Delta (8°33̕–10°55̕ N, 104°30̕–106°50̕ E), South Vietnam. The sector accounted for 687,000 t production in 2007 and 1,094,879 t in 2008, with over 95% of the produce destined for export to over 100 countries. Commercial and farm-made feeds are used in catfish farming, currently the former being more predominant. Nitrogen discharge levels were similar for commercial feeds (median 46.0 kg/t fish) and farm-made feeds (median 46.8 kg/t fish); whilst, phosphorus discharge levels for commercial feeds (median 14.4 kg/t fish) were considerably lower than for farm-made feeds (median 18.4 kg/t fish). Based on the median nutrient discharge levels for commercial feeds, striped catfish production in the Mekong Delta discharged 31,602 t N and 9,893 t P, and 50,364 t N and 15,766 t P in 2007 and 2008, respectively. However, the amount of nutrients returned directly to the Mekong River may be substantially less than this as a significant proportion of the water used for catfish farming as well as the sludge is diverted to other agricultural farming systems. Striped catfish farming in the Mekong Delta compared favourably with other cultured species, irrespective of the type of feed used, when the total amounts of N and P discharged in the production of a tonne of production was estimated.



Ambio : a journal of the human environment






504 - 514


Springer Netherlands


Dordrecht, Netherlands








Published online: 6 July 2010

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences