Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sustainable pangasius farming in Vietnam

During a recent trip to Vietnam I had the pleasure of meeting again Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh, President of Hùng Vương Corporation, and the largest pangasius farmer in Vietnam.

Mr. Minh signed an agreement with WWF to advance one of his pangasius farms to sustainability certification by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and to use his farm as a demonstration to other pangasius farmers. Mr Minh is in the light blue shirt with some of his staff and the WWF team.

We toured one of his farms and processing plants, the operations are big, efficient, and very impressive. Here's feeding time on the farm (photo right).

Our hosts then treated us to a wonderful Vietnamese seafood feast at the Thuong Nyen restaurant in My Tho in the Mekong Delta region. Including some wonderful squid, shark, and much more, all cooked in a steaming pot right on the table. Vietnam is a great country to visit, I know I'll be back.


3 comments:

David Steen, Ph.D. said...

Hi Mark, I just stumbled across your blog and I am glad I did. I plan to spend some more time checking it out your past posts.

I'm curious if you would compare the conditions at this Pangasius farm to those at more typical farms. My limited understanding of this farming practice is that overall, it may not be something everyone wants to support. How can we distinguish sustainably certified farms from those that aren't?

I wrote about Pangasius showing up everywhere in the southeastern United States here: http://farmsforestsfoods.blogspot.com/2011/07/fish-you-just-ate-may-be-more-of.html

Mark Powell said...

Hi David,

Pangasius is now a highly consumed seafood in the US and Europe, it's not so new anymore. It's a fine fish, and conditions on this farm are fairly typical. What is special about Mr. Minh's farm is that he's committed to get a sustainability certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, and he'll be making the improvements necessary to get that certification. ASC is the best in the business for farmed seafood certification.

Glad you're noticing your food, and the more you look the more you'll see that the lower priced seafood in most places is usually imported, often farmed, and frequently not sustainable. Expressing your concerns or just asking questions will help drive the market towards clarity, transparency, and sustainability.

Mark

Simon Lim said...

Hi Mark, I came across your blog while researching on pangasius farming in Vietnam. I'm a freelance photographer and I'm hoping to do a photo project on the sustainability of fish farming in South East Asia and pangasius farming is currently one of the biggest industry here.

I am curious as to how you were able to contact Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh and get a tour of his fish farms and processing facility? From your positive comments I think his farms will be a good starting point for my photo project.

Simon