In 2007, a group of 81 people met in Vietnam to begin to develop global standards for the pangasius aquaculture industry. Over a three-year period, 550 more people joined the discussion. Their work ended in August 2010, when the first set of credible global standards for the pangasius aquaculture industry was published. WWF led this initiative.
The group – called the Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogue – was motivated by the need to minimize the potential negative impacts pangasius farming can have on the environment and society. The impacts associated with this type of farming, which usually is done in a man-made pond, include water pollution, the destruction of natural habitat and unfair wages for farm workers.
The final standards will help transform one of the fastest growing aquaculture industries in the world. In Vietnam, where most farmed pangasius comes from, more than 1 million tons of farmed pangasius is produced annually, up from 110,000 tons in 2000. Most of the fish is exported to the European Union, United States and Russia.
Pangasius farmers who adopt the standards will earn a label from a new entity, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, certifying that their seafood was raised in an environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible way.
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