Vietnamese pangasius gets boost from ASC
IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative, SNV and seven seafood companies launched the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Accelerator on Wednesday. The Accelerator will help pangasius farmers reach ASC standards for responsible fish farming and will help create a viable pangasius industry in Vietnam with better access to European and North American markets, said ASC officials.
The Accelerator will help farmers prepare plans related to ASC certification and will share the costs of technical assistance, among other things. The public-private tool was created by IDH, SNV and pangasius traders Binca, DKSH, FEMEG, Mayonna, Nordic Seafood, Queens and Seafood Connection, in connection with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Vietnamese government, Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and Vinafis. Vietnamese pangasius farmers that supply one of the traders can contact the ASC Accelerator for guidance and will receive a 50 percent reduction in certification costs.
Vietnam exported USD 6.1 billion worth of seafood in 2011, with USD 1.8 billion of that in pangasius exports, according to Dr. Nguyen Hy Dzung, vice president of VASEP. He noted that while the farms have several challenges to help create economic sustainability, there are already five that are waiting for accreditation and certification by the ASC.
“IDH and WWF are committed to ensuring the ASC is the most credible standard addressing a variety of issues,” said Jose Villalon, VP of aquaculture for WWF.