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Project Title

Training and Research on physiological constraints in aquaculture in the Mekong delta region PhysCAM)

Project Partners

University of Aarhus and VietNam

Funding Sponsor


Budget (DKK)


Project Coordinator

Prof. Mark Bayley

Local Coordinator

Prof. Nguyen Thanh Phuong

Project Period

1 January 2007 – 31 December 2010

Overall Objective

Applied research capacity-building to promote sustainable aquaculture growth in the Mekong river delta

Specific Objectives

The aim of this proposal is to train Vietnamese students and academics in animal and plant physiology, and to supervise their research into applied aspects that will allow for immediate and significant optimization of farmed fresh water animal growth.


  • Construction of experimental aquaculture facilities.

  • Purchase of materialsd and equipment for experimentation.

  • Development and teaching of courses in Vietnam by Danish partners.

  • Supervision of masters thesis work and writing of papers by Vietnamese permanent staff and Danish partners.

  • Traning of Vietnamese faculty members and most qualified students in Denmark Workshops, Folders, websites, press releases and scientific papers.


  • 2 PhD (vietnamese)

  • 27 Master (vietnamese), 3 Master (Denmark)

  • 19 papers (international journals)

  • 17 papers (vietnamese journals)

  • 1 book (vietnamese)

  • Co-organization the Catfish workshop in Can tho, 2008

  • Organization the special session on Phsiology of Fish in Aquaculture 2009 in Glagow

  • Participated the Asia Pacific aquaculture in 2009 (in Kularlumpur, Malaysia)

  • 5 of the 6 investigated freshwater aquaculture species have been shown to be able to grow in brackish water. This has far reaching implications given the current land usage competition between the aquaculture industry and farming sector, but also given the predictions of increasing brackish water intrusions as a result of changes in freshwater supply in sea level.

  • The respiratory physiology of the air-breathing pangasius fish indicates that significant productivity improvements can be attained by controlled oxygenation of production water. Data from project show that this increasingly important aquaculture species is not as previously thought an obligate air breather, but rather facutative. This strongly indicated that oxygenation of pond will be a vital next step in the improvement of water quality and food usage, and indeed preliminary studies run by “Butlers Choice” inspired by this data support this hypothesis. Furure work needs to focus on delivery method and optimum amounts.

  • Telemetry studies with pangasius indicate that they remain within the top meter of their 4 m deep ponds. Vietnamese studies are now underway to look into shallower pond construction. This development will probably need to occur in live with oxygennation and improvements in water quatily.

  • The project has far exceedded the promised outputs on all counts, while at the same time returning significnat unused funds to Danida. In addition to the establishment of long term research and teaching capacity in fish physiology, that is currently unique in Vietnam, the project has also produced very significant data that has generated great interest in the aquaculture sector pointing to completely new and previously discounted directions for production development.

Project website



 ASEAN Fisheries Education Network - ASEAN-FEN

In order to strengthen and promote collaboration in education, research, information exchange as well as staff and student exchange in aquaculture and fisheries among ASEAN countries and with other international institutions and organizations for sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries in the region, nine Universities including Can Tho University (Vietnam), Kasetsart University (Thailand), Nong Lam University (Viet Nam), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya (Thailand), Universitas Airlangga (Indonesia), Universitas Brawijaya (Indonesia), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (Malaysia), Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia) has jointly established and made the Declaration of the  ASEAN Fisheries Education Network (ASEAN-FEN) on 30 October 2014 during the International Fisheries Symposium – IFS2014, Surabaya, Indonesia. Please visit the website ( for further information about the ASEAN-FEN. As a result, IFS will be one of the important activities of the ASEAN-FEN which will be co-organized by the nine core universities every year.


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