This booklet was prepared for the readers to easy understand about Vietnamese Pangasius and Pangasius industry.

Vietnamese Pangasius are highly appreciated by local and international consumers, not only for its high nutritious value, white muscle, without horizontal bones, without smell of sediment and seaweed a little of taste lipid content, but also for its safety to all consumers in all age groups.

Vietnamese Pangasius is a species of traditional farming by farmers in the Mekong River Delta. To meet high demand of global and domestic consumers, after 10 year development since 1996, fish farming area has been expanded nearly 6,000 hectares in 10 Mekong Delta provinces.

Most of fish farming area are strictly managed in accordance with national regulations on food safety and environmental protection. Until June 2012, over a half of fish farming area nationwide is audited and certified by internationally sustainable standards such as GlobalGAP, AquaGAP, BAP/GAA and ASC (recently certified). The process of auditing and certifying for Vietnamese pangasius is being carried out strictly according to requirements of consumers which proved that Vietnamese pangasius is not only loved by tasty smell with high nutritious value but it also satisfies strict requirements of the market.

Vietnam has nearly 100 pangasius exporting and processing companies in which their processing facilities are equipped modern equipments and controlled in accordance with HACCP. Pangasius products are being exported to 145 countries and territories worldwide such as EU, the U.S., ASEAN, Canada, the Middle East, China, Japan, etc. Fish export volume and value to markets reported steady annual growth of 10 - 18 percent, worth by US$1.8 - 2 billion per year in two recent years.

The booklet compiled under the Q & A form provides basic knowledge of pangasius, techniques of farming and processing, quality management, information of importers and the government’s regulations on breeding, processing and exporting specific fish products.


Editorial Board

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)

Head office: 218 street No.6, Lot A, An Phu - An Khanh New Urban Area, District 2, Hochiminh, Vietnam

Tel: (+84 8) 6281 0430 / Fax: (+84 8) 6281 0438


Rep. office: 10 Nguyen Cong Hoan street, Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Vietnam

Tel: (+84.4) 3771 5055; Fax: (+84.4) 3771 5084



What are biology characteristics of Tra and Basa fish?


Pangasius hypophthalmus/Pangasianodon hypophthalmus  - Tra

Tra is a fish with long body, grey black back, little white belly, big­ mouth and two pairs of barbells. The raising period varies from 6 to 8 months to reach the weight of 0,8 - 1,3 kg/fish. Tra fish mainly live in fresh water but also in blackish water (with salinity percent of 7 - 10), can bear in alum water (with pH level > 5), in hot tempreture up to 39oC but be easily died at temperature below 15oC. The volume of red corpuscles in Tra fish are much more than other fish. As the fish has an accessory respiratory organ and can also breathe with air bladder and skin, they can bear in the water lacking dissolved oxygen. The oxygen consumption and activity level of Tra fish is three times lower that the ones of a silver barb. 

Pangasius bocourti - Basa

Basa is also a fish with long body. The standard length of the body is equivalent to 2.5 times of the height of the body. It has a short, slight round and flat head, a wide forehead and a small mouth of which the width is less than 10% of the standard length and which is lightly askew the snout. Its teeth of the lower jaw are big and wide and can be seen when the mouth is close. It has two pair of barbells, the length of the pair at upper jaw is equal to the one of the head, and the whiskers are long to or over the end of pectoral fin. It has big eyes, belly and spleen, the back side of the body is flat, the back and the head have the grey green colour, and the belly has the silver-white colour. The height of the tail-end is more than 7% of the standard length of the body. The raising period varied from 10 to 13 months to reach commercial weight of 1 - 1.5 kg/fish.

As Basa fish has no accessory respiratory organ and requires an oxygen level higher than the one of Tra fish, it can poorly bear in water with low dissolved oxygen level. Basa mainly live in freshwater, can lightly bear in brackish water and in alum water with pH level > 5,5. The supported temperature is from 18 - 40oC and the minimum oxygen level is about 1,1 mg/litre. In general, Basa fish can not support in severe environmental conditions as much as Tra fish. Therefore, they are mainly raised in floating cage.