Ctafishes belong to Ictaluridae, Claridae, Pangasidae and Siluridae. Widely distributed in different parts of the world and their culture is traditional practice in some parts of Southeast and South Asia. Valued as high-quality fish in certain areas, in others medium and low.
Grows fast and feeds on a large variety of agriculture by-products. Can be raised in high densities resulting in high net yields (6–16 t/ha/year). Higher price than tilapia as it can be sold live at the market. Hardy and can tolerate adverse water quality conditions.
Originated from the Mekong River, Vietnam Being exported to Europe, US and other countries; Healthy and tasty fish; Omnivorous; Adapts well to any kind of feeds; Survives even in low dissolved oxygen; High potential for export; Globally accepted; …. And best of all …. Now available in the Pakistan!!
Originated from Mekong River, in Vietnam; Being exported by Vietnam to the Europe, US and other countries; Grow-out Operations: Market / Export: 2004: 300,000 MT 2005: 400,000 MT 2006: 800,000 MT 2014: 1M to 1.5 M MT)
Current Market (international and Local) Total Pangasius export of Vietnam in 2014: 1.3M MT Being served as fish fillet in high end restaurants, fast food chains and in food courts; Local players are already initiating Pangasius projects (Grow-out, processing, etc.)
Fast growing (up to about 1Kg. In only 6 months of culture; FCR is only 1.5 (i.e. 1.5 Kg. of feeds to produce 1Kg. of fish; Can tolerate low dissolved oxygen (has air breathing capability); Can be grown without using mechanical aerators; Can be stocked at a higher density (in Vietnam, it is being stocked at 30-40pcs/sq.m.); Can be fed with locally available materials
There are two members of these family that started the aquaculture success that is, Pangasius hypophthalmus (Tra) Pangasius bocourti (Basa)
Pangasius are native of Mekong River but travel down the streams of Thailand, India and China. They are migrant fish going up the river when ready to spawn and travelling down the river as juveniles. They like warm water and the wet season that last in Mekong delta from March until late October each year.
In the year 2006, 60,000 metric tons was produced in the fish farms of the Mekong Delta and by 2010 over one million tons was produced. In 2014 about 1.5million tons. The fish is distributed already into 6 markets of the world and it is also one of the most successful white fish species of all times. (www.worldofpangasius. com.Vn)www.worldofpangasius
The best most spectacular family member from the Mekong is Pangasius gigas, that is the giant catfish, that can grow up to 3metres and a weight of Kg, with the largest catch on record being a female 2.7metres long and weighing 293Kg.
There are others belonging to the same family who have become very famous nowadays for they started the aquaculture success in Vietnam, the Pangasius hypophthalmus, called Tra in Vietnamese and the Pangasius bocourti called Basa.
The Pangasius bocourti also called Basa needs 12 months to grow to market size of about 2Kg of weight and gives a white fillet meat of high fat content. The French built River Cage and put the fish into this to be fattened by a mixed food of rice bran and small river catches.
Up to the juveniles necessary for these cages had to be caught from the wild. The Pangasius bocourti became an immediate success; also as an export fish. But the real breakthrough for the Pangasius aquaculture in the Mekong Delta came when Pangasius hypophthalmus Vietnamese Tra could be developed for farming.
It is the only white catfish in the world and this makes it an acceptable fish in the whole world. The table size can weigh up to 2kg in 6 months. They prefer large water body with shallow depth.
Pangasius catfish are a freshwater fish that natively live in a tropical climate and prefer water with temperature between 22-26oC. They feed mostly from the ground, have no teeth, in the wild they are omnivorous and diet consists of Crustaceans other fish and plant matters.
Low protein feed content compared to Clarias. It is succulent and palatable. Nowadays, some 98% of the exported Pangasius belongs to the Hypophthalmus species. They do not cannibalize.
In the natural environment the reproductive season starts from May to June. In artificial reproduction, the fish become matured and fertile early through sophisticated water temperature management and can lay eggs earlier than in the natural environment. Each female Pangasius can have 67,000 eggs.
In South-East Asia, Pangasius hypophthalmus grow in three different farming situations: in wooden river houses, with cages placed right in the stream, in the Quang that is a fenced part at the shores of the river were the fish is placed and in earthen ponds. Pangasius in cages are also in practice.
Pangasius hypophthalmus and Tilapia Pangasius hypophthalmus and Clarias gariepinus Pangasius hypophthalmus, Tilapia and Clarias All the above can be done together without any problem with good stocking density
They are sensitive to light They move in cyclic form They are bottom feeders but can be trained to eat at the surface They are easily agitated by sound
They do not eat when you are close by the tank or pond side. When there is a change in temperature, they stop eating. Stress from sorting, counting or weighing prevents them from eating for about three days.
Fries are imported and raised to fingerlings stage and then sold to farmers that are interested. The fingerlings are Oxygen packed in 25kg polythene bags with average of 250 pieces. Juveniles are also packed the same way but quantity packed is about 150 pieces.
Fish are harvested with dragnet from concrete tank or earthen pond or if it is in plastic tank, it will be drained. The fish is transported live to the processing unit; make them unconscious by pouring ice on them, bled by gill cut after which they are filleted by hand.
The fish fillets are then trimmed and plate frozen packed in polybags or block frozen and packed in cartons then transported to clients.
The fish are harvested gutted, properly washed then packed in the freezer 24 hours and then stored in a chest freezer for the next supply.
Iced Pangasius The fish are bled, properly washed put in a cooler with ice placed on it. Smoked Pangasius The fish are dragged, properly bled, and drained. Then soaked in salt and EU approved flavour for15 minutes. The flavoured fish are then set on the tray and then transferred into the smoking kiln at the temperature of 120 o c – 150 o c for 24 hours.