It’s not known exactly when Vietnamese people first consumed Basa fish on a daily basis, nor is anyone sure precisely when Vietnamese people began to farm Basa fish. However, the basic fact is that Basa fish has been popular with Vietnamese people for a very long time.
Basa fish, or to be more exact, Tra fish, which is now known around the world as Pangasius fish, (Pangasius Hypophthalmus) is completely different from US catfish (Ictalurus Punctatus). Pangasius fish has a streamlined body, a dark grey color on its back, a silver belly, wide mouth, and a long twin beard. It lives mostly in fresh water, but it can tolerate brackish water with a salt concentration of 0.7% - 1%, and alum water (PH > 5), which can be fatal at temperatures lower than 15C, but can be tolerated at temperatures as high as 39C. Pangasius fish has a higher number of erythrocytes (red blood cells) than any other fish, plus Pangasius fish have an additional respiratory organ, and can breathe through bubbles and skin which help it tolerate an environment short of dissolved oxygen.
The Pangasius fish grows up quite rapidly. Young fish grow mainly in length, and after two months in the breeding stage, baby fish can reach a length of 10-12cm, and weigh 14-15gram. When they reach a weight of 2.50 Kg, the rate of subsequent weight gain becomes quicker than their rate of growth lengthwise. However, fish of 10-years-old or older grow only in weight. In the wild, ithey can live as long as 20 years. Pangasius fishh weighing 18 Kg and 1.80 meters in length have been found. In farming ponds, parent fish can reach a weight of 25 Kg by the age of 10. As for commercially farmed fish, those weighing from 800 grams to 1,100 grams, after 6 to 8 months, excluding the breeding stage of about 2 months, are best for harvesting.
The major habitat of the Pangasius fish is the lower section of the
Before perfecting the artificial fish breeding system, Vietnamese people raised Pangasius fish in floating cages after catching the fingerlings in the river. Since 1995, after the success of artificial breeding, the supply of baby fish has become plentiful and Pangasius farming has released many Vietnamese farmers from poverty.
At the end of 20th century, An Giang and