Carrefour decides to stop sale of pangasius
Supermarket chain Carrefour has decided to cease the sale of pangasius in Belgium, citing environmental concerns.
The French company said in a press release posted on its website on Monday, 23 January that it has also stopped marketing pangasius at its seafood counters in France.
“Pangasius has been the subject of recurrent criticism in recent years. Carrefour has always taken all necessary precautions to guarantee the quality of the products it markets, thanks in particular to the requirements contained in the specifications it imposed on its suppliers and the regular checks carried out on the breeding and production sites,” Carrefour’s statement said. “However, even if Carrefour is certain that the quality of the pangasius it sold is impeccable, the impact of fish farming on the environment cannot be controlled [due to] water pollution caused by the amount of excreta and food waste.”
The vast majority of the world’s pangasius supply is farmed in Vietnam, and specifically in the Mekong Valley, which is credited with producing up to 85 percent the pangasius sold globally. Belgium imported around 75,000 metric tons last year, and it is well-liked in the country due to its affordability and mild taste, according to news site DH.be.
The site also reported that no other supermarket chains have followed suit since Carrefour’s announcement, with Lidl, Colruyt and Delhaize all choosing to continue to stock and sell pangasius.
"Since December 2016, all fresh fish sold at Lidl is grown or fished sustainably," Lidl spokesperson Wathieu Julien told DH.be, adding that the chain intends extend that sustainability pledge to its frozen fish this year.
Delhaize spokesperson Roel Dekelver said his chain does not intend to follow Carrefour in banning pangasius from its stores.
"The main reason for this is that we have received assurances from our suppliers that their pangasius meets the strictest ASC [Aquaculture Stewardship Council] criteria," Dekelver said.