The cultivation of water plants and animals for human use started thousands of years ago. Today, it is the fastest growing segment of agriculture in the United States. Whether done in fresh water or salt, farming of food for our consumption is a technologically advanced science. Everything from scallops and oysters to salmon and, of course, catfish are being raised in controlled environments that help ease the increased demand for improved, quality protein sources to feed our ever-expanding world population.
U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish is consistently high quality and, unlike ocean-caught fish, is available all-year long at a price unaffected by external environmental conditions. The following is a glance at the 2005 production and sales figures of the top five U.S. aquacultured species:
SPECIES POUNDS PRODUCED ESTIMATED SALES
Catfish 396.6 million pounds $ 429.2 million
Trout 56.4 million pounds $ 65.5 million
Tilapia 13.3 million pounds $ 29.6 million
Salmon 2.4 million pounds $ 37.4 million
Crawfish 35.9 million pounds $ 21.1 million
* Current numbers will be listed as soon as possible, based upon the next census of aquaculture.