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Sustaining the Eco-systems of the Mekong Delta

by the Fish Site Editor
08 December 2008, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Pangasius (basa, tra) farming, the fastest-growing field in global aquaculture, needs an integrated approach through an ecosystem to ensure sustainable development, said international experts at a seminar in Can Tho city yesterday.

More than 150 representatives from 18 nations have gathered in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Can Tho for an international symposium to share experience in all aspects of basa farming. The event, called "Pangasius aquaculture in Asia: Present status and challenges for sustainable development" discussed reproduction, nutrition, technology, diseases, environmental and social impacts as well as marketing.

"Pangasius aquaculture in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta is no doubt to be the fastest of its kind in the world, achieving a production level of 1.2 million tonnes in less than a decade," said Professor Sena De Silva, Director General of the Thailand-based Network of Agriculture centre in Asia and the Pacific.


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"An inter-governmental organisation to help achieve sustainability is necessary."
Professor Sena De Silva, Director General of the Thailand-based Network of Agriculture centre in Asia and the Pacific.

"Recently, food safety and environmental integrity have been highlighted by customers. In this context, an inter-governmental organisation to help achieve sustainability is necessary."

Professor De Silva stressed the role that the Vietnamese government should play in post-production market and value-chain issues to cope with emerging problems in aquaculture. He also mentioned that all adaptive measures need to involve farmers.

Purbasari Surjadi, chief operating officer of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, suggested that certifications be provided to farmers who follow standards for environmental protection. She added that there should also be sector-wide performance monitoring which involves, among other things, better zoning practices.

The idea is to avoid areas of high biodiversity and to have better water management to maintain water quality for river bodies, she added.

"This directly helps maintain good conditions for Pangasius farming and reduces the adverse impacts on river and coastal environments," she said.

the Fish Site Editor