Inputs

Hatcheries

There is a large number of privately owned small-scale hatcheries for pangasius. Most of them are located close to the biggest production centres in the Mekong Delta. The leading provinces by numbers are Dong Thap, An Giang and Vinh Long. In 2013 a total of 93 hatcheries could be counted, with an average capacity of 818 million hatchlings per year. Pangasius breeding is strongly regulated and driven by governmental support. The Vietnamese government operates the most important research centres for pangasius fry (Research Institute for Aquaculture, RIA), which used to produce a significant part of the available pangasius fry in the past. Today, it is estimated RIA only contributes 20% to the total pangasius seed. Many of the larger pangasius companies such as Vinh Hoan, Huong Vuong, Godaco and Hoang Long have their own hatcheries, which tend to produce the seeds with the highest quality.

Nurseries

There are a number of nurseries operating in the different provinces. Nurseries buy fry from a hatchery and raise it to different sizes of fingerlings. Some farms use one of the ponds on their premises as a nursery pond. Stocking of larger fingerlings helps to reduce the grow-out period and to increase the survival rate.

Feed

There were over 100 feed mills producing aqua feed in 2010. Many of the big feed mills such as Proconco, De Heus, Cargill, Green Feed, and Anova & EWOS (who merged in recent years) produce a variety of animal feeds and dedicate one production line to pangasius. Additionally, there are feed mills that belong to large integrated pangasius exporters which are therefore very specialized, such as Vinh Hoan feed mill or Tay Nam Panga Feed Joint Stock Company owned by the largest pangasius exporter Huong Vuong. In 2012 a total of 1.95 million tonnes pangasius feed was produced domestically, with Tay Nam Panga Feed Joint Stock Company contributing the largest share (approximately 25%). An important aspect of the recent developments in the Vietnamese pangasius market is related to feed. Since there are major concerns about the origin of fish oil and fish meal in aquaculture feeds and its impact on global fish stocks, many pangasius producers also started to engage in tilapia farming. This allows them to use off-cuts from processing one species as feed input for the other species. Thus fish oil and fish meal from tilapia off-cuts serve as ingredients for pangasius feed and vice versa. By doing so the ecological footprint of both sectors is largely reduced.

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