, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 504–514 | Cite as

Estimation of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Effluent from the Striped Catfish Farming Sector in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

  • Sena S. De Silva
  • Brett A. Ingram
  • Phuong T. Nguyen
  • Tam M. Bui
  • Geoff J. Gooley
  • Giovanni M. Turchini


In this study an attempt is made to estimate nitrogen and phosphorus discharged to the environment from the striped catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) farming sector in the Mekong Delta (8°33′–10°55′N, 104°30′–106°50′E), South Vietnam. The sector accounted for 687,000 t production in 2007 and 1,094,879 t in 2008, with over 95% of the produce destined for export to over 100 countries. Commercial and farm-made feeds are used in catfish farming, currently the former being more predominant. Nitrogen discharge levels were similar for commercial feeds (median 46.0 kg/t fish) and farm-made feeds (median 46.8 kg/t fish); whilst, phosphorus discharge levels for commercial feeds (median 14.4 kg/t fish) were considerably lower than for farm-made feeds (median 18.4 kg/t fish). Based on the median nutrient discharge levels for commercial feeds, striped catfish production in the Mekong Delta discharged 31,602 t N and 9,893 t P, and 50,364 t N and 15,766 t P in 2007 and 2008, respectively. However, the amount of nutrients returned directly to the Mekong River may be substantially less than this as a significant proportion of the water used for catfish farming as well as the sludge is diverted to other agricultural farming systems. Striped catfish farming in the Mekong Delta compared favourably with other cultured species, irrespective of the type of feed used, when the total amounts of N and P discharged in the production of a tonne of production was estimated.


Effluent discharge Mekong Delta Nitrogen Nutrient mass balance Pangasius Phosphorus Striped catfish Tra Catfish BMPs 



This work was undertaken as a component of the Collaboration for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) program between the Governments of Vietnam and Australia, funded through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The current project is a component of the project “Development of better management practices for catfish farming in the Mekong Delta (VIE 001/07)”. We are grateful to the financial support provided by AusAID. Most of all, our thanks are due to numerous farmers who were very willingly forthcoming with information and provided access to their records unreservedly. We value their friendship and cooperation. We also wish our thanks to other colleagues who were involved in this project, in particular Drs. Nguyen Van Hao, Phan Than Lam and Thuy T.T. Nguyen.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sena S. De Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brett A. Ingram
    • 3
  • Phuong T. Nguyen
    • 4
  • Tam M. Bui
    • 4
  • Geoff J. Gooley
    • 3
  • Giovanni M. Turchini
    • 2
  1. 1.Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA)BangkokThailand
  2. 2.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Primary IndustriesFisheries VictoriaMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.College of Aquaculture and FisheriesCan Tho UniversityCan ThoVietnam

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