Vietnam is one of the world’s largest producers of farmed seafood and they have plans to double the production by 2020. Farming methods are often traditional and to increase production this significantly, there is a strong need for new sustainable technology and for moving the production towards sustainability. Vietnam has undergone rapid socio-economic development over the last 40 years, shifting the country to a more modern market-based multi-sector economy and transforming the country from one of the poorest in the world into lower middle-income status.
Recognizing the success of their reforms and the positive development in the country, the Danish government appointed Vietnam “a priority country” for the period 1993 to 2005 and became one of the largest bilateral donors in the country and the main donor when it comes to the fishery sector in that period.
As part of this venture, the VIDATEC Excellence Centre for aquaculture practices (Vietnamese Danish Aquaculture Technology Excellence Centre) was established as a catalyst program for a sustainable development of the sector. The specific aim of the VIDATEC Centre was to direct Vietnamese aquiculture practices towards better sustainability by transferring knowledge and technology to the country.
This was spurted by OxyGuard, the Danish Foreign Ministry, the Danish Ministry for the Environment, Danish Hydraulic Institute and other Danish aquaculture suppliers, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Vietnam, with the project “Developing and Operating a Demonstration Grow-Out farm for sustainable and advanced Pangasius aquaculture in Vietnam”.
A test site was selected in the Mekong Delta where the Pangaius is a major target species. A matrix design was established to compare traditional farming methods with modern production methods. Advanced measuring and monitoring equipment from OxyGuard and other stakeholders such as Grundfos, DHI, RK-plast and AKVA group were applied to the matrix design for the evaluation of the individual production methods.
The test matrix consisted of four ponds where one acted as a control pond with traditional production methods (i.e. hand feeding and no aeration of the water). Three different test-ponds were subjected to different types of modern production methods, including aeration of the water, automatic feeding and monitoring of the water quality using OxyGuards Pacific system.
The test result showed a significant increase in production as well as lower feed usage, medicine use, higher quality of the fish meat and a reduced load of pollutant to the environment when using modern technology compared to using traditional production methods. This emphasized the need for a modernization of the aquaculture practices especially in the developing countries, as this is the key driver for a sustainable aquaculture in the future.