Improved Sustainable Aquaculture Systems for Small-Scale Farmers in Northern Vietnam

  • Johannes Pucher
  • Silke Steinbronn
  • Richard Mayrhofer
  • Iven Schad
  • Mansour El-Matbouli
  • Ulfert Focken
Part of the Springer Environmental Science and Engineering book series (SPRINGERENVIRON)


Aquaculture is an important part of the farming system for ethnic Black Thai farmers in the uplands of Son La province, providing cash income and protein rich food for home consumption. The current aquaculture system, with grass carp as its main fish species, is a feed-based system, with leaf material from banana, maize and cassava as well as weeds and by-products from other farming activities, used as key inputs. As with all other feed-based aquaculture systems, this system depends on a constant flow of water in order to supply oxygen; however, the system is limited by feed and water availability and is threatened by a disease that affects only grass carp. This chapter provides a detailed description of the use of aquaculture within the Black Thai’s farming system, an analysis of the feed resources currently used therein, as well as of those resources that may potentially be used. It also provides an analysis of grass carp diseases as well as a description of innovatory aquaculture practices geared towards replacing the disease susceptible grass carp with common carp, as the main species. These suggested modifications are based on the enhanced production of natural food in ponds and the application of supplemental feeds partly based upon on-farm resources. Finally, the potential for earthworms to be used as a high quality feed ingredient, one which can be produced on-farm from currently not used or underutilized resources, is studied in terms of the production of supplemental feed for the common carp.



Acid detergent fiber


Koi carp herpes virus


Crude ash


Crude protein


Dry matter


Dissolved oxygen


Ether extract


Fresh matter


Grass carp hemorrhagic virus


Gross energy




Mega joule




Neutral detergent fiber






Polymerase chain reaction


Research institute for aquaculture No. 1


Red spot disease


Self-recruiting species




US dollar


Vietnamese dong



We would like to express special thanks to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding the Uplands Program (SFB 564). We should also thank the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam, and the North–south Center (European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity) for their co-funding. We are grateful to Mrs. Nguyen Thi Luong Hong and Mr. Kim Van Van, both heads of the Aquaculture Department at the Hanoi University of Agriculture, for their support. Special thanks also go to Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, who supported the sub-project as a field assistant, Ph.D. student and supervisor of other students during the research. The project gained tremendously due to the courage and support shown by the field assistants and students in Vietnam. Special thanks to the farmers who collaborated with us in Yen Chau district – for their hospitality and trust, and for giving us the opportunity to gain a close insight into their way of life. Last but not least, we thank Peter Lawrence for his editing and Mark Prein for reviewing this book chapter. We also would like to thank Gary Morrison for reading through the English, and Peter Elstner for helping with the layout.

Open Access. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Pucher
    • 1
  • Silke Steinbronn
    • 1
  • Richard Mayrhofer
    • 2
  • Iven Schad
    • 3
  • Mansour El-Matbouli
    • 2
  • Ulfert Focken
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Animal Nutrition and Rangeland Management (480b)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Fish Medicine and Livestock ManagementUniversity of Veterinary MedicineViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Communication and Extension (430a)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  4. 4.Thünen Institute of Fisheries Ecology, FOE Ahrensburg BranchAhrensburgGermany

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