Pangasius in Indonesia

While the Indonesian pangasius sector is largely underdeveloped, it has been thriving the last five years. Domestic production reached its highest point in 2016 with 437,112 tonnes, making Indonesia the second largest producer after Vietnam. The reasons behind pangasius’ recent success are growing domestic demand and strong support from the Indonesian government, who made the pangasius sector a high priority area for aquaculture development. The tightened regulations on pangasius import have had some positive impact on the domestic production and processing, but the sector still experiences competition with cheaper and sometimes illegally imported pangasius from Vietnam. In addition, the sector

is struggling with fundamental issues [read-more]regarding high feed costs, poor infrastructure and poor quality perception of Indonesian consumers (SMART-Fish Indonesia, 2016). Industry players gathered in 2016 for the first time, and expressed their need to the government for stricter border control, ensuring raw material availability for feed, education and technical assistance on feed production as well as providing equipment to produce feed for local use. As imports of pangasius products have been shut down, local demand depends fully on domestic production. According to the Indonesian Catfish Entrepreneurs Association the domestic pangasius industry takes up 70% of local fillet market (FAO Globe Fish Reports, 2014). Since locally produced pangasius is carrying a ‘bad quality’ stigma under domestic consumers, some industry players are considering re-branding their products. While there have been some exports of frozen fillets to the United States in the past, export of pangasius is currently non-existent.


Sourcing news

Pangasius production and export statistics

Species wise production

MMAF (2016) and FAO (2018)

These numbers are derived from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries (MoMAF) and are in line with FAO statistics. While the sector has shown a substantial growth over the last five years, production has decreased slightly in 2015, but picked up again in 2016.

A variety of pangasius species are being cultured in Indonesia according to different sources; the FAO Globe Fish Reports (2014) mentions Pangasius hypophthalmus as dominant cultured species, while MoMAF data only mention species as Pangasius macronema, P. micronemus, P. nasutus and P. nieuwenhuisii.

Area wise production

MMAF, 2016

South Sumatra is the most important area for pangasius production, where over half of the total pangasius production is produced. Other important farming areas on Sumatra are Riau, Jambi and Lampung. Only little production takes place on Kalimantan and Java, which is concentrated in Central and South Kalimantan and West Java.

Production systems


    Pangasius is mostly farmed in ponds on Sumatra, Kalimantan and East Java. 


    In West Java farmers often culture pangasius in floating net cages.

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Risk assessment

Environmental risks

  • Water pollution

Social risks

  • Unawareness farmers on beneficial credit schemes

Quality and supply chain risks

  • Cold chain
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Traceability

Species in Indonesia

Click on the species and find out more about the species in Indonesia