A blog about the latest developments in the food technology sector.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
PANGASIUS FISH-A VIETNAMESE "TREASURE"
"Pangasius is a tropical warm water catfish that grows to a maximum of 1.3 meters in length and 44 kilograms. It is an air-breathing fish (bi-modal respiration), which enables it to tolerate low dissolved oxygen levels. Under semi-intensive fishpond culture, the fish can reach 1 kilogram harvest weight from 20-gram fingerling within 6 months culture period. Fast growth and high survival rate offers opportunity for fish farmers to achieve far more production and income per unit area compared to traditional farmed fishes. However, it also has to consume more feeds, thus higher production expenses. Acceptable feed conversion ratio (FCR) for the fish is 1.5. This means 1.5 kilograms of feeds is required to produce 1 kilo of fish".
Fish is considered a protective food because of its rich protein content and presence many micro nutrients essential for good health. Consumption of the heart-friendly fish 2-3 times a week is strongly recommended by nutritional experts. World harvest of fish is estimated at about 150 million tons out of which one third is raised through the aquaculture route. As many of the edible fish species are getting extinct due to over fishing, aquaculture technology has been able to meet the global demands for fish foods to a great extent.
Pangasius species, also known as riverine catfish, Siamese shark, Sutchi catfish or Swai catfish with their habitat in the Mekong basin has been able to capture the imagination of many fish exporting countries. Besides Vietnam, it is also cultured widely in several countries in Asia including Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia because of its fast growing characteristics and efficiency of feed conversion. Vietnam has been able to make great strides in the farming of Pangasius, ever since it was taken up in 1983 and to day 50% of its fish export of more than 1.2 million tons is made up of this particular fish. Other Asian countries must emulate the example of Vietnam which has shown the potential for Pangasius in meeting world demand for fish in the coming years.