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Pangas catfish

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Green
Second choice
Avoid
Welzijn
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General

Catfish

To the family of catfish (Siluriformes) belong 1727 different species. They are called catfish due to their distinctive feelers. Catfish can weight over 100 kilograms, however, most species are significantly smaller. Catfish possess the organ of Weber which is a small set of bones that are connected to the swimbladder and transmit vibrations.

Catfish are commercially very important and are either farmed or wild-caught. Well-known species are pangasius and the African sharp tooth catfish.

Pangas catfish

Pangas catfish is a freshwater fish that can reach up to 2 m in length. This species is originally from Vietnam and is farmed in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and Thailand. From the latter part of the 90’s the production has skyrocketed and nowadays it is one of most consumed fish species in the Netherlands. It is sometimes wrongly sold as a species of sole e.g. “Asian sole”. 

Pangas catfish

Pangasius hypophthalmus
Origin

Asia, inland waters (FAO 4)

Farming- / Catch method

Pond systems (aquaculture)

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Explanation assessment

Since a few years there is sustainably farmed ASCASC:
Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a worldwide eco-label for responsible cultivated fish.
pangas catfish available on the market. ASC-certified farms get several years time to buy only feed consisting of sustainable fish and this is a large leap forward in making the farming of pangas catfish more sustainable. In addition to the standards for feed, the realization of the ASC standards is unique because of the dialogue between the many stakeholders. This has led to the final standards being strict and realistic and that the most important negative effects of fish farming are being dealt with, such as the discharge of waste water, no abuse of antibiotics, space for the fish itself and the running of the company on a socially responsible way.

Pangas catfish

Pangasius hypophthalmus
Origin

Asia, inland waters (FAO 4)

Farming- / Catch method

Pond systems (aquaculture), Cages (aquaculture)

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Source usage
Impact on the environment
Management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

Pangas Catfish occurs naturally in the Mekong river. The production of pangas catfish has increased explosively in the past years and the demand for pangas catfish is being partly filled by new, unregulated aquaculture. The biggest problem of this aquaculture is the water contamination by feed remains and excrements. This is especially a problem with small producers of the last years, that began due to the enormous growth in the sector.

The sector in Vietnam is however trying hard to be more sustainable and their is more and more sustainably produced ASCASC:
Aquaculture Stewardship Council, a worldwide eco-label for responsible cultivated fish.
pangas catfish available. It is because of this that is is unnecessary to buy pangas catfish from unregulated aquaculture where the harmful effects on the environment are not minimalized, and also has unregulated medicin and antibiotics use.

 

ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.

Avoid

Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.

Welfare

There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.

GlobalG.A.P.

GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.

Organic

Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.