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Supporting the Mekong fish farmers with the breeding of tra catfish


Tra catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) is the main commercially farmed fish in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. However, most farmers have been faced with poor fingerling quality which affects the quality of the finished product. Most farmers are wild-type stock with no history of genetic improvement, which leads to suboptimal production (loss of nutrients), poor overall quality and uncertainty in the globalized market. In order to optimize the domesticated stock, a selection program has been ongoing since 2001 by RIA2. So far the program has depended on established and successful quantitative genetic approaches where uncertainty on parentage limit progress. We propose the development and application of molecular genetic markers in order to certify parentage and optimize domestication. We also propose a parallel program to guide the breeding of Tra catfish in smallholder fish farms and to prepare for the introduction of domesticated Tra catfish in the community of fish farmers. The outcome should improve the resilience of the rural community in view of global change and improve the research capacity of the local scientists.

Intervention type

South Initiatives


01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Filip Volckaert
Local promoter Sang Nguyen Van
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Local partner institution Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 2
visit http://vienthuysan2.org.vn
Budget € 69.928