Water Pollution Concerns in Shrimp Farming in Vietnam: A Case Study of Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh City

By Van Trai Nguyen, Salim Momtaz and Kenneth Zimmerman.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Shrimp farming has significantly contributed to the economic development of Vietnam. However, it has also raised environmental pollution concerns. Previous research shows that effluents from Vietnamese shrimp farms have polluted surrounding waters and adversely affected the farmed shrimp’s health. Knowledge on the impacts of the farming effluents on natural aquatic resources is limited in the country. The current study focuses on the impacts of water pollution derived from shrimp farms on natural fish community. Fieldwork was conducted in Can Gio, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from May 2005 to April 2006. Water and fish samples were collected from main streams at three different areas: area 1 (A1- with mainly improved-extensive-farms), area 2 (A2- concentrated with intensive and semi-intensive farms) and area 3 (A3- with almost semi-intensive and rice-shrimp rotating systems). Key water quality parameters including dissolved oxygen (DO), un-ionized-ammonia (NH3-N), nitrite (NO2-N), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5); and fish biodiversity were compared among the three areas. The results show that there were statistically significant differences in water quality parameters among the three areas. Clear evidence of water pollution was found at A2 and A3. While DO at A2 and A3 were lower than Vietnamese standard, NO2-N, NH3-N, BOD5, and COD at these two areas exceeded the Vietnamese limits. A lower number of fish species observed at A2 and A3 compared to A1 suggests a relationship to water pollution. The study would help to raise environmental awareness among the local shrimp farmers and government leading to more sustainable farming systems and environmental protection.

Keywords: Water Pollution, Shrimp Farming, Fish Biodiversity, Can Gio, Vietnam

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.129-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 855.382KB).

Mr Van Trai Nguyen

PhD Researcher, School of Environmental & Life Sciences, Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments, University of Newcastle Australia, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia

Nguyen Van Trai is an AusAid Scholar from Vietnam currently working for his Ph.D. at the University of Newcastle Australia. His research focuses on Shrimp farming and water pollution in Vietnam.

Dr. Salim Momtaz

Senior Lecturer & Deputy Head, Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments, School of Environmental & Life Sciences, University of Newcastle Australia, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia

Dr Momtaz is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research and teaching interests include ‘development and environment in developing countries’, ‘environmental and social impact assessment’, ‘community participation in environmental decision-making’ and ‘applications of Geographic Information Systems’. He taught ‘EIA and SIA’ at the School of Foreign Services, Georgetown University, Washington DC, as an Adjunct Associate Professor and conducted research on 'comperative EIA and SIA in Australia, Bangladesh and USA' as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Washington DC. Dr Momtaz also visited Bangladesh as a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in 2000-2001 when he taught EIA at the Department of Geography, University of Dhaka, and conducted research on impact of development. He has worked on various research projects in Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Viet Nam. He has published many articles in international journals including ‘Environmental Impact Assessment Review’ and ‘Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal', and is the author of three books. His latest book titled ‘Environmental and Social Impact Assessment: the Case of Bangladesh' is being published by Elsevier.

Dr Kenneth Zimmerman

Lecturer, School of Environmental & Life Sciences, Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments, University of Newcastle Australia, Ourimbah, New South Wales, Australia


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