Description and quantification of mortality in finfish marine aquaculture in Northern Vietnam

Primary Investigator: Larry Hammell, Jeff Davidson, Annette Boerlage Co- Primary Investigators: Phan Thi Van, Nguyen Viet Khue, Dang Thi Lua, Bui Ngoc Thanh

Vietnam is one of the most productive aquaculture countries in the world. Although it represents only 3% of overall global production, marine finfish is of primary importance for local consumption and for further development by the Vietnamese government. Most farms are small-scale and culture several species simultaneously. While mortality events and their causes are not part of any formal records, total survival of less than 30% is often considered routine. This pilot project seeks to identify opportunities to support the improvement and enhancement of marine aquaculture systems in the Cat Ba area of Vietnam.

Key elements of the study will be the administration of three surveys and daily mortality record-keeping of the farmers. Mortalities are rarely quantified in cultured marine finfish in North Vietnam; daily mortality records may be recorded but not in a formal or standardized manner, and fish counts are often only available from stocking and/or harvesting receipts or, sometimes, from treatments.

The primary objective of this study is to describe and quantify patterns of mortality in marine fish aquaculture in North Vietnam.

Secondary objectives are to: 1) examine basic production variables for potential associations with mortality, and 2) provide descriptive statistics on marine finfish aquaculture in North Vietnam that can be used in support of further research proposals and development of research programs with long-term potential.