CATFISH 2007 Conference
A resounding success and an unforgettable event ! The CATFISH 2007 conference was successfully held from 13-15 June in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, dubbed “the Pangasius capital of the world”. This first ever international trade and technical conference on catfish was attended by almost 300 delegates from 28 countries/territories from four continents - Asia, America, Europe and Africa. While about half of the delegates were Vietnamese, the rest came from different countries/territories in Asia (Indonesia, India, China, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, S. Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia), Europe (UK, Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Russia), Africa (Zambia, Egypt, South Africa) and the USA (which was represented by a big delegation).
The conference was officially opened by the Vice Minister of Fisheries, Vietnam on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, H.E. Dr. Ta Quang Ngoc. Jointly chaired by Dr. Nguyen Huu Dzung (General Secretary, VASEP), Dr. Frank Chiang (a professor from the National Taiwan Ocean University), Peter Redmayne (President of SeaFare Group, USA) and William More (Vice President and Director, Aquaculture Certification Council Inc., USA), the conference discussed a wide range of topics on the global and regional catfish industry situation, developments in farming technology, certification schemes for sustainable farming, diseases, feed, markets and marketing, processing and other pertinent issues related to the industry. Twenty papers were presented by renowned speakers from the US, Europe, Asia and Vietnam, and a lively discussion followed each session.
It was highlighted that ‘Catfish’ – be it Pangasius, Ictalurus or Clarias sp – has become an important and popular seafood traded globally with great potential to feed the world and contribute significantly to the economies of the developing countries. All the speakers, however agreed that ‘sustainable’ farming is the keyword and the way forward for the future development of the industry and challenges faced by the industry such as quality related issues, mislabeling, fraud, branding, standardization of the ‘catfish’ name, increasing trade barriers in importing countries etc. need to be addressed. Under this context, some delegates expressed the desire that the conference on catfish should be held regularly every year or once in two years.
On the final day of the conference (15 June), about 50 delegates went on a field trip arranged by VASEP to visit catfish farming and processing activities in the Ben Tre area. All the presentations at the conference including a full list of the delegates are available on sale in CD format. Further details are available from INFOFISH.