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Aquaculture Sustainability Index Development to Support Decision making in water management in the Mekong delta – Vietnam

Research project BL/V/15 (Research action BL)

Contract BL/00/V15 :

Duration of the contract :


Partners :

  • Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers 
  • Université de Liège 
  • Universiteit Gent 
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
  • SPACEBEL Informatique S.A 

Description :

Context and objectives

While aquaculture play's an important role in Vietnam's economical development, its unplanned and unregulated growth has had negative social and environmental impacts. The Objective of the project is to contribute towards a more sustainable aquaculture system in Vietnam. Therefore, researches have been conducted to develop sustainability assessment tools in order to manage fish farming and measure progress towards sustainable development. One of them is the Aquaculture Sustainability Index (ASI). The sustainability index can help the farms' owners deciding which part in the farming process goes wrong and thus measures can be taken accordingly. Management bodies, policy-makers, environmentalists, etc. can also base on the ASI to adjust socio-economic development and environmental protection strategies and to develop long-term plans to achieve sustainable development. Then two essential questions were raised up in the framework of AQUASID:

- What is the impact of aquaculture activities on the water resources quantity / quality?
- How to develop a sustainable and responsible aquaculture regarding the environment?
To provide some elements of response to these questions the project focused on the specific objectives:
1 – The development of indicators involved in ASI computation with a focus on water resources inventory and loading capacity of the rivers in Mekong Delta.
2 – The integration of all kind of environmental information related to aquaculture into a dedicated web-GIS in order to provide support to remote decision makers in fish farms implantation management (South Vietnam).


Because the productivity and value of freshwater fisheries is highly dependent upon the quantity and quality of the water supply with regards to temporal variability, (which causes large problems in water resources management), practical tools that can generate information on flow regime in a timely and useful manner have been developed. An integrated catchments model was needed, which models both quality and quantity and uses all available information, including GIS. The hydrological HEC RAS model was chosen for that purpose. Then a complete environmental database using remote sensing imagery and field campaigns was created as an essential source of environmental information needed as input for ASI calculation. The consortium has developed and deployed ASI map through a web-GIS portal to be use as a “prototype” system to help remote decision makers in fish farming planning. Actually the use of web mapping tools such as those proposed by Mapguide Open Source software were particularly suitable in term of dissemination of the information from the centralized VASEP premises in Hanoi to VIFEP in Ho Chi mInh City and finally to the very end users located in Ben Tre and Cho lach.

Documentation :

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