Where are Pangasius Native to?

Pangasius fish originated in Southeast Asia, specifically in the Mekong River in Vietnam. However, they are distributed across the whole of Southeast Asia and South Asia. Pangasius fish belongs to the catfish family. Catfish are the type of fish with barbels resembling a cat’s whiskers. This fish is a freshwater fish that can tolerate salt water for survival conditions.

Wild Pangasius in a package
Wild Pangasius in a package

Origin and Distribution

Pangasius fish are found in the freshwater of the Asia region. They originated in Vietnam’s rivers and canals. During reproduction, they migrate to different channels and rivers. That is why they are found in Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and other parts of Asia. However, if you go to Europe or the USA, you will see this fish with a different name. They are called basa and bocourti in the USA, Australia, and Europe. In foreign countries, they have the fish imported from Southeast Asia or South Asian countries.

Habitat and Survival

Pangasius fish live in the river all their life, but they can be found in canals, ponds, lakes, and rivers when their living conditions are not good if the water of the rivers goes down or any calamity strikes. They flow to the canals or different rivers for their survival. They can tolerate saltwater situations. If the water salt is 0.7% to 1%, they can survive easily, but above that, they can not survive the condition. They can survive low pH environments. In that environment, pH should not be less than five, and the temperature should be around 30 degrees Celsius.

Reason for native habitat in Southeast Asia

Geographic Area

The origin of this fish is in the Mekong River in Vietnam. But several countries, such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, etc., have these fish in their river. They are found in topical climate areas or countries with warm temperatures, which are better for survival and growth.

Rivers for breeding

The rivers in southeast Asia are better for the breeding of pangasius fish. These rivers have better conditions for their reproduction. The pH, food, and temperature are suitable for breeding pangasius fish.

Farming practice

While pangasius fish is native to the region, it is also farmed. The environment is suitable and optimum for the fish and is the main reason this fish is native to the area. People of the region use fish farming to increase the reproduction rate and make more fry artificially. This helps to grow the fish community there, and the number of these fish is significant in this region.

Helped by the government and organizations

The region’s people get help from the government and organizations for farming this fish in southeast Asia. They get better loans and help with farming. Moreover, the suitable environment, help from these organizations, and the government are reasons for the increasing number of these fish.

Better market value

Pangasius fish has a good market value, and this is the reason for farming it. The protein content and health benefit of this fish is high, and the pricing of this fish is better than other fishes with the same qualities. They can export this fish worldwide and generate a better source of income.

People’s choice

People like to eat this fish because it has fewer bones and is easy to eat. Moreover, this has good taste and quality and can be cooked quickly. This fish is high in protein, which helps those who are trying to maintain muscle mass when working out with weights.

Is pangasius fish healthy and tasty?

Pangasius fish is healthy and tasty. The reasons for being healthy depend on the components found in the pangasius fish. The fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and high protein values. The omega-3 fatty acid is essential for our health as humans. It helps decrease overall cholesterol and control the HDL in our body, which helps in reducing cardiovascular diseases. The protein content of pangasius fish is easily digestible and has higher protein than other fishes. The marbling fat and the texture of the fish make pangasius fish tasty. The fish is sweet to nature. When you cook it or grill it, you will find it has a sweet taste vibe, making it better for consumption and tastier.

Is Pangasius fish farming profitable in the native region?

Several reasons show this fish is profitable for it to be a farm-raised fish. The fish in the rivers or natural habitat can live up to 20 years and can be more than 25 kg, which means they grow rapidly. Within a few months, the fries become bigger in size and weight. In commercial farming, the fish can be more than 15 kgs in 10 years, and the commercial feed used in farming is better to make the fish gain weight faster than in a natural setting. The feed has more protein content that is essential for growing rapidly, and with a suitable environment, the fish is better for farming. 

The pangasius fish is native for many reasons. The water ecosystems in which they are found in Southeast Asia work well for this fish to be eaten and enjoyed regionally and worldwide.

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