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What Is Your Opinion Of Pangasius?

PontiusPalate | Aug 21, 201604:10 PM

There is a restaurant in my city of Norfolk, Virginia, that boasts of their fish tacos. They claim that they make the "meanest fish tacos east of the Pacific." Their web site also claims that their seafood comes "straight from the oceans."

They were recently asked what kind of fish is used for their fish tacos. Their answer was Pangasius. But according to what I have read, Pangasius does not come "straight from the oceans." Instead, it is farmed from ponds in Vietnam.

My source for this information was the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch organization. They also give Pangasius an "Avoid" rating. The following link provides their rating and summary:

Here is the text of their summary, which is shown at the bottom of the page linked above:

"Sutchi Catfish, also commonly known as Pangasius, raised in pond systems in Vietnam is an "Avoid" due to dumping of sludge from pond systems contributing to cumulative level effluent impacts, and high use of antibiotics during production."

With all the fresh fish that is available all year from the Chesapeake Bay, I think it is a shame that they only use a fish that is farmed from from Vietnam. In fact, the link above also reveals that they give a "Best Choice" rating for Catfish that is sourced from the Chesapeake Bay.

One food writer I know told me that they probably use Pangasius because "it is as cheap as cat food and probably the same grade of fish they use in catfood."

In view of this information, why would they boast of their use of a fish like Pangasius? Am I missing something?

Comments and opinons welcome.


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