WWF has admitted that tra pangasius was unfairly placed on its 2010-2011 consumer red list, pledging to remove it immediately.
Mark Powell, head of the WWF International Global Seafood Programme, has admitted WWF made mistake at a meeting held today with the General Department of Fisheries, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP). He also pledged to immediately remove the fish from the red list and encourage European consumers to continue buying the fish.
Opening the meeting, vice chairman of VASEP, Nguyen Huu Dung, continued to stress that WWF’s putting Vietnam’s tra fish on the consumer’s red list warning people in six European countries was not a proper assessment. Dung pointed out the results provided recently by WWF were not transparent and appropriate. Replying to Dung’s statement, the WFF representative officially admitted responsibility, saying that it was his fault for announcing the inaccurate information. He noted, however, that it may take some time to remove the fish from the list. Deputy head of the General Department of Fisheries, Pham Anh Tuan, immediately challenged Mark Powell’s statement, saying that WWF’s mistake has greatly affected the lives of Vietnamese fishermen and led to indignation among local people. “In any case, the WFF must remove tra fish from the list immediately,” he stressed.
Faced with strong evidence and convincing arguments from Vietnam, WWF’s Mark Powell agreed to switch the fish to the list titled “On the way to sustainable development”. He also promised to help Vietnam get the fish onto the list of “Sustainable development”. Agreeing with Mark Powell’s idea, Dung said that putting tra fish to the “sustainable development” list is also the aim of Vietnam and the country is now trying for that. Dung added that Vietnam and WWF can cooperate in building a trademark for Vietnamese tra fish to guarantee its sustainable development. After the meeting, Pham Anh Tuan invited Mark Powell and other WWF representatives to visit some tra breeding farms. As scheduled, WWF representatives will meet with Vietnam representatives again on December 16 to seek an agreement in making tra fish a product of sustainable development on the world market.