Farm Siting — Seafish


Pangasianodon hypophthalmus

Farm Siting

Good management of farm siting can help to mitigate possible negative impacts on resources and the environment including: the impingement on natural ecosystems such as mangrove and wetlands and the species that live within them; the discharge of sediment into natural waters; and over-abstraction of freshwater supplies1. All national and local laws should be adhered to and all farms should have the required licences, permits and registrations in regards to their site and its operations, with documentation being kept to evidence compliance.

New farms should be located within appropriately identified aquaculture zones2 and ideally in areas where aquaculture development plans exist. Farm and pond developments should take place on land that has previously been used (for at least 10 years) for agriculture or aquaculture. Existing and new farmers should consider carrying out assessments such as Biodiversity Environmental Impact Assessments (B-EIA) which are participatory and open in terms of results and outcomes. Where B-EIAs require rehabilitation of affected ecosystems then procedures should follow approved restoration guidelines.

As pangasius farms are often located in areas with relatively rich wildlife, species that prey on fish can be attracted to them3. This can potentially cause problems due to direct losses as a result of predation, as well as having wider impacts on the stock due to stress and injuries. Pangasius farmers should ensure all possible management measures are taken to protect stocks from predators. This might be via netting of smaller ponds or fencing site perimeters. Deterrents, scarers and increased on-site activity may be effective and are preferable to lethal methods of predator control, which should only be resorted to when other methods have failed, and then only when appropriate licences are in place. Care should be taken to ensure that predator prevention does not potentially damage threatened, endangered or protected species.

Pangasius farms can apply for certification which ensures they address issues such as siting of the farm to avoid impacts in protected areas, discharge of earth into water bodies, negative impacts on endangered species, compliance with water abstraction limits, and so forth.


  1. Seafood Watch
  2. Pilgrim, J.D., 2010. Biodiversity Impacts of Pangasius Farming in the Mekong Delta. Report for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, 2010
  3. FAO/World Bank