Catfish Declining - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi catfish industry declining

By Bert Case - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi remains the top state in the nation in catfish production, but the numbers are declining. 

Mississippi has lost 100 catfish farmers in the last five years, according to Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Lester Spell.  He thinks better days are ahead though.  He says, "I think the type product that Mississippi turns out, farm raised catfish, demand is going to always be strong for it." 

Farmers like Wayne Hill of Isola, who has 58 catfish ponds, says he is slowly phasing them out, because it costs about 95 cents a pound to raise catfish and they only selling for around 80 cents a pound. 

There is a plant in Isola, Consolidated Catfish, that produces 125 million pounds of catfish per year.  Hill says Vietnamese and the Chinese catfish is responsible for the declining price, by producing what he calls "a lessor product."

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