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About The Catfish Institute

One of the primary reasons for the U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish industry’s success is The Catfish Institute (TCI). The Catfish Institute was founded in 1986 by catfish feed mills and their producer members with the goal of raising consumer awareness about the benefits of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Today TCI, which represents catfish feed mills in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Louisiana, conducts promotional programs throughout the United States and Canada.

This non-profit corporation derives its revenues from member feed mill dues. The headquarters of TCI is in Jackson, Mississippi. From there, the President and Board of Directors of TCI monitor the industry’s growth and direction and provide information on U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish. Throughout the years, TCI’s creative consumer advertising and public relations programs have increased awareness and demand for farm-raised catfish.

But TCl’s contributions to the industry’s success go much further than awareness building. TCI was the first in the seafood industry to develop and implement a quality control program – monitored by the USDC – to ensure a consistently high-quality product.

In 1987, The Catfish Institute (TCI) contracted with the United States Department of Commerce (USDC) to conduct weekly inspections of farm-raised catfish processing plants. In 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulatory system for the seafood industry to prevent food safety problems before they occur.

This system, which places responsibility for product safety on individual manufacturers and distributors, was nothing new to the farm-raised catfish industry – for over a decade, the industry has been independently executing its own quality control program. Only when the catfish have passed both stringent taste tests at the ponds and the USDC inspections at the processing plants are they awarded the Certified Processors seal, confirming that they have met the highest standards set by TCI.

One of the main differences between farm-raised and wild catfish is in their living conditions. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish are grown in a quality-controlled environment of clay-based ponds filled with pure fresh water pumped from underground wells. The rectangular-shaped ponds, averaging 10 to 20 acres (four to eight hectares) each, are built above-ground from the rich southern soil by constructing embankments that are then filled with four to six feet (one to two metres) of water.

Another notable distinction between farm-raised and wild catfish is what – and how – they eat. U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish are fed a gourmet diet of puffed, high-protein food pellets (a mixture of soybeans, corn, wheat, vitamins and minerals) that gives this fish a mild, sweet taste. And because the food pellets float, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish feed on the surface of the water, unlike wild catfish that feed at the bottom.

U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish rates high as a safe, healthy seafood as well, with the honour of being the first fresh fish to carry the Health CheckTM symbol, indicating that it meets the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s criteria for a healthy food choice. It is recommended as a “best choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, and the U.S. National Audubon Society gives farm-raised catfish its “top ranking” as an environmentally sound seafood choice.

You can feel good about eating U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.

updates by : Lime Pi Digital