Why is Basa Fish Banned?

Have you ever thought:

  • Why is Basa Fish Banned?

Short: Basa fish is not banned everywhere.

Some places worry about its safety due to possible contaminants and farming methods.

Why is Basa Fish Banned?

Basa fish is allowed in most places, but there were problems with basa fish from Vietnam’s Mekong River.

Some countries, like the European Union, Australia, and the U.S., stopped importing it temporarily because they found too many antibiotics and chemicals in the fish.

Here’s what happened:

  • Basa is a type of catfish from the Mekong River in Vietnam. Vietnam exports a lot of it.
  • In 2007, some countries banned basa fish from Vietnam because they found antibiotics in it. It seemed like fish farmers were using too many antibiotics and chemicals.
  • Tests showed that some basa fish from Vietnam had too much of certain substances, like fluoroquinolones, malachite green, antibiotics, and heavy metals. This raised concerns about the safety of the fish.
  • Vietnam made its seafood rules stronger, and most countries lifted the bans once the safety issues were fixed.
  • Vietnam still sells a lot of basas, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) checks it to make sure it’s safe. As long as the rules are followed, basa is considered safe to eat.

Why is Basa Fish Banned in the UK?

As of now, Basa fish from Vietnam is allowed in the UK.

However, it had some problems in the past regarding safety, leading to temporary bans and restrictions.

Here’s what happened:

  • In 2007-2008, the European Union stopped importing Basa, as well as other Vietnamese catfish like tra and pangasius. The reason was that these fish had too many antibiotics and chemicals, which went beyond the safety limits set by the EU.
  • Vietnam’s seafood industry faces safety concerns due to antibiotic residues, heavy metals, and chemicals. Tests suggest the fish may be unsafe for consumption, possibly linked to excessive use of antibiotics and chemicals in fish farming.
  • Vietnam reacted by making its rules stricter for exporting seafood. By 2010, the EU lifted its ban because Vietnam had made important changes to ensure the fish met the EU’s safety standards.
  • The UK and other European countries can still stop imports if inspections find problems. 

But, as of now, Vietnamese Basa, tra, and pangasius are not completely banned, as long as they pass the required tests during import. 

Why is Basa Fish Banned in India?

Basa fish is not banned in India, even though it is not a native species. 

  • Basa is a catfish species from Vietnam and Southeast Asia, not native to India.
  • India imports basa fish fillets and products from countries like Vietnam to meet the demand for seafood in the country.
  • Around 2016, there were concerns about the potential dumping of low-priced frozen basa, leading to controversy and calls for import restrictions. This raised issues for the local fish industry.
  • Despite these concerns, Indian government committees and food safety regulators did not impose specific bans on Vietnamese basa fish itself.
  • The food safety standards and inspection requirements for basa fish are similar to those for other seafood. Basa imports go through risk analysis and hazard checks before being released.
  • While some Indian trade associations have advocated for import duties on basa fish products to support local producers, basa fish itself is not outright banned based on safety issues.

Which Fish is Good Basa or Rohu?

Both basa and rohu have their qualities, but rohu is generally considered a superior and more flavorful fish in various aspects.


Richer and more tender flesh with fewer small bones.

High in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, up to 2g per serving.

Regarded as a premium table fish in South Asia with a firm texture.

Versatile flavor that stands out, whether seasoned with spices or fried.


Can be slightly bland in taste with lower natural oil content.

Contains lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, around 0.5g per serving.

Imported frozen basa can have a softer texture.

Benefits include white, delicate meat and a lower price point.

What is the Most Unhealthy Fish in the World?

Some of the most unhealthy fish in the world are King Mackerel, Shark, and Swordfish.

King Mackerel:

High mercury levels can harm neurological development.

The FDA recommends avoiding it, especially for sensitive groups like pregnant women and young children.


Certain shark species accumulate extremely high mercury concentrations.

Long-lived sharks like bull, tiger, and mako sharks have some of the highest mercury levels.

Tilefish (Gulf of Mexico):

Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico has very high mercury concentrations.

Both commercial fishing limits and seafood consumption warnings are in place.


Large predator swordfish have notably high mercury levels, especially in polluted waters or certain regions.

The FDA cautions against consuming too much.

Read more:

  1. Are Fish Reptiles?
  2. Can Catfish Make Noise?
  3. Can Catfish Change Color?
  4. Can Catfish and Goldfish Live Together?
  5. Why is Catfish Banned in India?


Why is Basa So Cheap?

Basa is considered relatively inexpensive due to its abundance in supply and cost-effective farming methods.

Can Muslims Eat Basa Fish?

Yes, Muslims can eat Basa fish as it is considered permissible (halal) for consumption according to Islamic dietary laws.

Is Indian Basa Healthy?

Indian Basa is a healthy choice because it is low in calories and fat but rich in protein.

What is Basa Fish in India Called?

Basa Fish in India is commonly referred to as pangasius.

Why is Basa Fish Banned in the USA?

Currently, Basa fish from Vietnam is not banned in the United States. However, there was a temporary ban in the late 2000s due to concerns about the safety of the imported fish.

Is it Safe to Eat Basa Fish?

Yes, basa fish is considered safe to eat in moderation when it is properly farmed, processed, and inspected under regulatory guidelines. 

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