A new decree will be implemented in Vietnam in 2016 that requires all national pangasius farms and supply chain companies to be certified to the VietGAP Pangasius Standard or equivalent such as the ASC standard, according to Pangasius Vietnam.
The decree on pangasius farming, processing and exporting has been drafted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). It is anticipated to be enforced from 1 January 2016.
Growing farming sector
There are currently 43 ASC certified farms in the Mekong Delta supplying ASC certified pangasius.
The first farm to be certified against the ASC Pangaius Standard in September 2012 was Vinh Hoan fish farm in Vietnam. The first products bearing the ASC logo for responsible pangaius aquaculture became available in the same month across the Netherlands.
The reported area used for pangasius farming in Vietnam is an estimated 5,950 hectares with an output of 977,000 metric tons (MARD, 2013).
The Dong Thap region had the highest area of 1,875 hectares and a production of 342,000 metric tons. Ben Tre produced 154,000 metric tons across 700 hectares, and Vinh Long harvested 101,000 metric tons on 425 hectares.
Global standard for responsible pangasius farming
The ASC Pangasius Standard was developed by a diverse stakeholder group, and carries the most robust global requirements for pangasius farming. By meeting the standard, certified farms must demonstrate that they use responsible aquaculture practises that minimise their environmental and social impact.
Companies that wish to sell their products as ASC certified are required to gain ASC chain of custody certification by passing a third party audit conducted by an independent certification body.
The on-pack ASC logo ensures that certified farms receive the market recognition they deserve. The logo helps consumers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood. Products carrying the logo reassure customers that the fish is sourced from a farm that minimises its environmental and social impact.