Price:      Minimum order = 2,000 fish
$US per 100
Please note that the prices are not inclusive of packing and transport.
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The striped or "tra" catfish (Pangasius hypophthamus also known as Pangasius sutchi) is a very hardy catfish species cultured widely in Asia. The fish achieves 1.5kg within a year (from 0.5g) and is very tolerant of poor water quality and low dissolved oxygen levels (is a facultative air breather, so no aeration necessary). It is happy eating a wide range of food and is often raised on manures or waste feedstuffs. The flesh of the fish tends to be tinged with yellow and is high in lipid. Flesh quality can be controlled to a large extent by using selected feeds and low protein feed has been shown to reduced fat content and increase the shelf life of the meat.


Striped catfish   (Pangasius hypophthalmus)

Striped catfish are most commonly raised in earth ponds, but cage culture has been very successful in Vietnam. The fish can also be raised successfully at high density in clear water recirculating systems, although the fish much prefer dank, murky, organic conditions. Results are best at high water temperature (30 oC minimum).

Within the last 10-20 years, the striped catfish has become popular with consumers in the U.S. as a cheap alternative to locally farmed channel catfish. The U.S. government, in attempt to remove the threat to local catfish farmers, imposed anti-dumping duties in 2003. Not only were high import taxes applied, but importers are required to pay a year in advance in the form of customs bond.

Basa catfish   (Pangasius bocourti)
The basa catfish (Pangasius bocourti) is very similar to the striped catfish in appearance. the body is shorter and fatter, but the species can only be told apart by close examination of fin rays and teeth. They are more difficult to spawn than striped catfish, although they are more fecund and only spawn one time per year. They are not as hardy as striped catfish, and not so tolerant of low oxygen and poor water quality. They are also different in that the flesh is white and provides a more attractive fillet. They grow to a similar maximum size of over 10kg, but growth is a little slower. They achieve a size of 1.5kg in 12 months.

Basa catfish are widely cultured alongside striped catfish in cages in the Mekong delta, Vietnam. Despite the superior flesh quality, there are ten times less basa catfish produced than striped catfish due to problems with respect to seed supply and ease of culture.

Nam Sai now has basa catfish broodstock and is planning to spawn the species in 2007. There are high expectations that this species could spawn a new grow-out industry in Thailand, providing higher quality catfish meat for both domestic and international markets.


Availability:    Unlike tilapia which spawn all year round, Pangasius catfish can only be spawned from May to November and are not available for the rest of the year. Nam Sai can source fish from many local hatcheries, but predominantly buys from two farms previously identified as having good quality. Nam Sai has now started spawning Pangasius hypothalamus and our own stock will be available for the 2006 spawning season. P. bocourti will be available from 2007 and are not yet available in Thailand. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of striped catfish.