Publicly available data is available from universities/institutes such as the Research Institute for Aquaculture (RIA) 2 and Can Tho University; public reports from the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VINAPA) and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP); government sources, and certification organizations. Regulations concerning aquaculture management and national and local strategies are provided by the legal normative documents website (VBQPPL), the Directorate of Fisheries (DFISH), and provincial government departments.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Circular 14/2016/TT-BNNPTNT requires pangasius farms to be managed under a zonal approach, under which zones should be registered with the DAH of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to be certified disease free (Vbqppl 2017).
MARD has developed an atlas to identify specific aquaculture production zones (MARD 2017).
According to the National Government’s Decree No. 59/2005/NĐ-CP, all farmers must hold a business license for aquaculture (Vbqppl 2017). Farms should be located according to local aquaculture planning standards and operate according to national aquaculture, veterinary, food safety and environmental protection standards detailed in the licensing procedure and associated registration forms.
Certification and registration is the responsibility of provincial DARD offices under MARD’s Circular No. 23/2014/TT-BNNPTTN concerning MARD’s National Decree 36/2014/NĐ-CP (An Giang DARD online, 2017) (Vbqppl 2017).
As a result, of the carrying capacity study conducted by Nong Lam University, An Giang PPC has approved a restructuring plan for aquaculture and agriculture (including pangasius production) in An Giang to 2020 - Decision No. 929/QĐ-UBND. Under this plan, 1,430 hectares of pangasius farms will be established, in Long Xuyen City, Thoai Son, Tan Chau, Chau Thanh, Chau Phu, Cho Moi and Phu Tan districts.
In 2016, the Directorate of Environment submitted a final version of a Circular to guide the implementation of the national assembly’s Law of Environment Protection No. 55/2014/QH13, regarding carrying capacity, allocation of wastewater discharge quotas; pollution correction, and environmental improvements for polluted areas. This circular is currently awaiting approval from the government and has not yet received an identification number.
Water Quality: According to the Law of Environment Protection No. 55/2014/QH13, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is responsible for carrying capacity studies, identifying water quality and volume limits for discharge water and issuing guidance and corrective measures. At the provincial level, responsibility for these issues belongs to the Provincial People Committee (PPC). Under the National Government’s Decree No. 38/2015/NĐ-CP, the PPC is also required to publish details of water bodies that exceed their carrying capacity. From 2010-2013, RIA2 conducted a carrying capacity study for the Tien and Hau Rivers, the results of this research were used to develop a national pangasius production and planning strategy for each pangasius producing province to 2020 (Hung 2013).
Health Management: According to MARD’s Circular No. 17/2014/TT-BNNPTNT, the National Department of Animal Health (DAH) under MARD monitors the national implementation of aquatic health treatment and prevention plans, conducts training, and collaborates with local research institutes (such as RIA 2), universities (including Can Tho University, Nong Lam University), and international organizations (Vbqppl 2017).
MARD also provides advice and assistance in animal health, including forecasting animal disease and zoonotic outbreaks. DFISH also provides guidance on aquaculture planning and produces technical standards and requirements for aquaculture applications. In addition, the PPC and DARD and their lower levels (such as provincial departments of animal health and aquaculture agencies) are responsible for environmental and disease monitoring within their province.
Disease Control: DAH in collaboration with DFISH also provide guidance on the control of diseases. The DAH is also responsible for reporting outbreaks of animal disease to MARD as regulated by MARD’s Circular No. 17/2014/TT-BNNPTNT (Vbqppl 2017).
The Vietnam Directorate of Fishery (DFISH) is responsible for developing the master plan for pangasius production and national technical standards for aquaculture.
Water Quality: An Giang PPC is responsible for water use and wastewater discharge approval. Water use permission licenses are valid for 15 years and discharge water permission licenses are valid for 10 years as regulated in Decision No. 38/2015/QĐ-UBND. In December 2014, MARD approved Decision No. 5204 /QĐ-BNN-TCTS of DFISH concerning the environmental monitoring of shrimp, pangasius, tilapia and clam farms. The timeframe for this project is from 2015 2020. However, there is no publicly available information on the progress of this project (Fistenet 2014).
Health Management: A national disease prevention and treatment plan for pangasius have been introduced under MARD’s Decision No. 4995/QĐ-BNN-TY. The DAH has developed guidance No. 927/TY-TS in 2015 to implement this Decision. In March 2017, MARD approved the national plan of disease control plan for pangasius and shrimp for 2017 to 2020 in Decision No. 1038/QĐ-BNN-TY (Vbqppl 2017). Under this plan, the government and farmers are required to monitor disease and environment indicators, perform disease checks by spot-sampling, and collaborate on disease control (Vbqppl 2017).
Disease Control: The competent authorities responsible for the use of 1) chemicals in aquaculture and 2) veterinary drugs are identified - the DAH and the Department/Directorate of Fisheries and the DAH respectively(ASEAN Secretariat 2013). The use of chemicals and drugs is regulated by MARD under Decision 10/2007/QĐ-BTS which includes a list of approved chemicals (Vbqppl 2017).
Water Quality: MARD’s Circular 44/2010/TT-BNNPTNT and National Technical Standards QCVN 02-20:2014/BNNPTNT regulate pangasius production sites to ensure food safety and set in-pond and discharge water quality limits (Vbqppl 2017). MONRE’s Circular 36/2015/TT-BTNMT and the national government’s Decree No. 38/2015/NĐ-CP regulate toxic waste management (Vbqppl 2017). Water quality criteria for different types of public waterbodies are also described in MARD’s Circular 44/2010/TT-BNNPTNT and have been incorporated into VietGAP standards. Annex 3B. VietGAP Criteria. No. 2.1 and 4.2.2 outline in-pond water quality and wastewater quality respectively.
Health Management: Limits to stocking density are set by MARD’s Circular 44/2010/TT-BNNPTNT and National Technical Standards QCVN 02-20:2014/BNNPTNT. Under VietGAP, farms must comply with the existing regulations and have a fish health plan written by a fish health specialist or a veterinarian.
Disease Control: The use of the antibiotics nitrofuran, chloramphenicol, dimetridazole/metronidazole and enrofloxacin; the disinfectant, malachite green, and cypermethrin; the chemotherapeutant, trichlorfon; and the piscicide deltamethrin are prohibited (ASEAN Secretariat 2013). VASEP summarizes multiple MARD Circulars concerning the use of chemicals, antibiotics, and bioproducts - and has produced lists of chemicals and antibiotics banned for use in fishery production, trading, and veterinary use. Restricted chemicals and antibiotics - including maximum residue levels (MRL) are also identified (VASEP 2014).
Industry and Management Performance
Despite the previous requirement under MARD’s National Decree 36/2014/NĐ-CP and Circular No. 23/2014/TT-BNNPTTN for all farms to be VietGAP (or another international standard) certified by 2015, only 22 farms are certified to these standards in An Giang (ASC 2017)(GAA 2017)(GlobalG.A.P. 2017)(VietGAP 2016)(VietGAP 2017).
VietGAP requirements have now been postponed and MARD's Decree 36/2014/NĐ-CP has been replaced by Decree 55/2017/NĐ-CP (Vbqppl 2017).
Water Quality: Following the findings of carrying capacity study in An Giang conducted from 2012 to 2014, the main sources of pollution were identified as household sources and seafood processing plants. Sludge from ponds is still discharged into the environment (Linh 2015). It should be noted that pollution in the lower Mekong basin is due to multiple factors.
Health Management: Disease remains the most important issue for pangasius production in Vietnam. The most common is the bacterial disease, Enteric Septicemia, (ESC) caused by Edwardsiella ictaluri (Crumlish et al. 2002). This disease can result in mortalities of fingerlings up to 90% (Thanh Cong, 2015). According to Circular 38/2012/TT-BNNPTNT, outbreaks of this disease must be reported (Vbqppl 2017).
General data on mortality rates are not available for An Giang. However, for the Mekong Delta, mortality was typically up to 30 % during the early to mid-stages of production and less than 10 % in later stages, mainly as the result of disease and poor weather conditions (Halls and Johns 2013).
Disease Control: Farms owned by companies have qualified fish health specialists. However, most small-scale farmers rely on their own experience and use of chemical/drugs for disease control measures. The European Commission’s (EC) Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) includes six notifications (from 2015 onwards) of border rejections, alerts or information for attention concerning the presence of nitrofurans in pangasius product from Vietnam (classified as serious). It should be noted that the province that this product comes from is not stated (European Commission 2018).
Trends in Performance
Water Quality: No information available.
Health Management: Water exchange is the most commonly used disease prevention measure. ESC was first detected in intensive pangasius ponds in Vietnam in 1998 and now affects several Mekong Delta provinces, including An Giang, Dong Thap and Can Tho (Thanh 2015).
Disease Control: ESC may be treated with antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals but recent reports suggest that resistance to treatment is increasing (Thanh and Berntsen 2012). Almost all (97.5 %) strains of E. ictaluri are now resistant to commonly used treatments (trimethoprim, oxytetracycline, and streptomycin) and there is reduced sensitivity to flumequine, oxolinic and acid and enrofloxacin (Thanh and Berntsen 2012). According to the E. C’s RASFF portal, from 2008-2014, there were several notifications concerning the detection of prohibited veterinary drugs (Nitrofurans) in pangasius from Vietnam – all of which took place in 2014, were classified as serious, and resulted in border rejections (European Commission 2018).
Water Quality: No information available.
Health Management: No information available.
Disease Control: A disease prevention and treatment plan for pangasius from 2015 to 2020 has been included in MARD’s Decision No. 4995/QĐ-BNN-TY (Vbqppl 2017). The DAH has developed guidance No. 927/TY-TS in 2015 to implement this national plan (Vbqppl 2017). In order to improve traceability and the planning of production, and to comply with MARD’s Decree no. 36/2014/NĐ-CP, by May 2016 farms require an individual identification code.