WWF Pangasius ranking: science or marketing?

Hi Everybody,

I have been in touch with an excelent blog that i recommand to all of you:


This blog published on 12th December a very interesting point of view that I would like to share with you:

Is WWF really an independnat organization of market oriented NGO?

Let’s have a look at the post:

” Seems WWF has some ‘splaining to do. This past month, WWF adjusted it’s approval ranking of Vietnamese pangasius from yellow (good alternative) to red (only to be fed to your mother-in-law).

Whether or not this decision is justified is not the point of this blog entry. But there are a few things about this sudden ranking change that are very interesting;

  1. Apparently, WWF Vietnam was not consulted in the decision. Why on earth would an important decision like this, which may have dire economic impacts as a result, not require consultation with their local department? The Vietnam department does not agree with the parent decision.
  2. Not coincidentally, this decision comes on the heels of a public smear campaign that attacks competitors to the U.S. catfish industry. Many of the “concerns” which swayed WWF’s abrupt decision were simply parroted from this attack campaign.

But a quote from WWF itself may shine a light on this decision;

“As long as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is not in the market, you do not know pangasius is farmed sustainably.”

Just so you (the reader) knows, the ASC certification program is a WWF led initiative.

So , what WWF is saying is that government regulations don’t matter and that all other certification programs will never compete with the ultimate – WWF’s ASC.

Pretty telling.

So, someone please correct us if you feel we are wrong, but here’s what we think WWF might be up to; as WWF tries to sell it’s ASC program to seafood producers, it benefits them to red list some of their biggest sellers (pangasius, salmon, prawns etc), thus lowering buyer confidence and forcing the producer to buy into their ASC program.

After all, according to WWF, the only voice in seafood sustainability is…WWF.

They’re that good…just ask ‘em.

Apprently, regardless of whether we’re a seafood producer or a respected environmental organization, we’re all marketing a product.”



Please give us your opinion on that!


3 Responses to WWF Pangasius ranking: science or marketing?

  1. Pingback: Pangasius on the RED LIST by WWF « Qualasa Expertise, the Vietnamese Seafood News

  2. The Truth About Alaska Salmon says:

    Thank you for mention of our blog post. We are committed to removing politics, borders and marketing out of seafood and appreciate the help spreading this information.

    Let’s stick to fact and science.

    If we can help, please let us know.

    Signed, The Truth About Alaska Salmon

    • qexpertise says:

      Thanks you for this good reflexion. I like very much the approach and i think it is very useful to share this with my Vietnamese colleagues that still have difficulties to read between lines of this complicated certification world.

      i am thinking to organize more communication around this red-listing. I will let you know.


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