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Striped catfish farming in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam: a tumultuous path to a global success

journal contribution
posted on 2011-06-01, 00:00 authored by Sena Desilva, N T Phuong
The striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) (Sauvage), also referred to
as tra catfish or sutchi catfish, farming sector is an icon of aquaculture development
in Vietnam and globally. Over a decade it has developed from a humble
backyard operation to one that currently accounts for the production of
over one million tonnes, employing over 180 000 rural poor, and generating an
export income exceeding US$ 1.4 billion (2010). It accounts for the highest
average production, ranging from 200 to 400 t ha)1 crop, ever recorded for the
primary production sector. The system is integrated and incorporates seed
production, fry to fingerling rearing and grow-out, and is concentrated in a few
provinces in the Mekong Delta (833¢–1055¢N, 10430¢–10650¢E), along two
branches of the Mekong River. In essence, perhaps, the initial trade restrictions
on catfish exports to the USA provided the impetus and then the associated
developments from 2002 to 2005 of the sector to a great extent in seeking new
markets. The explosion of tra catfish farming has resulted in many competitive
sectors challenging this ‘tra catfish’ invasion into a globalized market. These
confrontations still exist with many instances of attempts to discredit the sector
and discourage international consumers. However, the Vietnamese catfish
sector is resilient and has managed to withstand such pressures and continues
to thrive. This paper reviews the development of catfish farming in the Mekong
Delta, its current status and what is required to sustain it as a major food
source and livelihood provider.

History

Journal

Reviews in aquaculture

Volume

3

Issue

2

Pagination

45 - 73

Publisher

Wiley

Location

Chichester, Eng.

ISSN

1753-5123

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd