The cultivation of water plants and animals for human use started thousands of years ago. Globally, aquaculture's growth has more than doubled in the 1990s (to more than 35 million tons a year). To meet the demand for improved quality protein sources, scallops, oysters, salmon and catfish are being raised in controlled environments. Farm raised fish has high quality and unlike ocean-caught fish is available all-year long.
U.S. aquaculture production has grown more than 49 percent since 1991.1 Aquaculture is the fastest growing segment of agriculture in the United States. Farmed seafood makes up about a third of the seafood consumed in the United States. About two thirds of the shrimp and salmon and almost all of the catfish and trout consumed by Americans is raised in ponds.2
Thick-skinned, whiskered, wide-mouthed wild catfish can be found in the wild in channels and rivers of the southern United States. Wild catfish is typically described as pungent, bony and muddy. However, as a result of aquaculture technology, catfish is now an economical farm-raised species with a mild flavor. Catfish are raised in clay-based ponds filled with fresh water pumped from underground wells. They are fed an enriched, high-protein grain-based food. Their firm, white flesh can convey strong flavors and stands up to a variety of cooking techniques, which makes it suit virtually any ethnic cuisine.3
Americans consumed about 275 million kilograms ...