Chinese Imports Dry Up Louisiana Catfish Farms (1 Viewer)

DadsDream

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LSU AgCenter reports acreage has dropped from 18,000 to 6,000 and production has dropped from 90 million pounds to 27.7 million pounds in the past 10 years.

THE TOWN TALK, ALEXANDRIA
Chinese imports drying up Louisiana catfish industry
By Tom Bonnette


It might look home-grown, taste similar and even be labeled as such, but many consumers don't realize that the catfish on their plate is actually a Chinese import that is increasingly drying up Louisiana's catfish farming industry.

The Mississippi-based Catfish Institute reports Chinese catfish imports doubled during the first eight months of 2006 compared to the same period last year, rising to 3.5 million pounds of frozen catfish fillets as of August 2006 from 1.8 million pounds imported from January to August 2005.

Louisiana, a major catfish consumer, is the fourth leading producer of catfish in the United States behind Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama, according to information collected by the LSU AgCenter.

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http://www.thetowntalk.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061113/NEWS01/611130308
 

Random Fan

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Assuming the biggest hit is coming from the restaurant industry I would pass a law -- if it weren't already on the books -- forcing them to disclose they use the Chinese catfish. This wouldn't be some fine print buried at the bottom of the menu but a big, glossy sign right as you go into the establishment.

Give consumers the information and let decide if it's worth paying more to employ American workers.

I guess the extreme answer are tariffs and protectionist trade but I'm not a huge fan of that.
 
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DadsDream

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The article makes it clear that although a different Vietnamese fish species has gotten all the protectionist fanfare, it's actually Arkansas channel cats grown in China that have become the biggest concern.

The catfish association folks are trying to fight back by questioning the purity of any animal meat raised in China, given their history of using sewage as fertilizer in their rice crops.
 

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I agree with Random Fan. The state ought to mandate that restaurants disclose where their seafood source(s) du jour are. If you can't get Louisiana shrimp, for instance, disclose whether or not it's from South Carolina, or Brazil, or Vietnam or what have you. And all Louisianians should boycott any indigenous seafood not caught in either Texas, LA, MS, AL or FL. I'm sure most people would be down with that.

hopingThatmyoystersandshrimPSwerelegitatlunchtime
 

saintfan-n-alex

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Assuming the biggest hit is coming from the restaurant industry I would pass a law -- if it weren't already on the books -- forcing them to disclose they use the Chinese catfish. This wouldn't be some fine print buried at the bottom of the menu but a big, glossy sign right as you go into the establishment.

Give consumers the information and let decide if it's worth paying more to employ American workers.

I guess the extreme answer are tariffs and protectionist trade but I'm not a huge fan of that.
100 % agree, and dont forget the chinesee crawfish -
 

Rob Beaux

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Yes the asia market is having an effect but its not teh whole story.

Ever seen those farms in MS...the industry will complain about anything to try to get a bigger market share or increase in income. I never saw a catfish farmer hurting for money.

They cut back on production in the states primarily due to fuel costs. Which in turn raised teh price per pound so they didnt lose money. You can think of the catfish industry as OPEC. The littel producers get handled and bought by the big guys.

My wife used to work in the catfish support industry when we were in MS( just moved in october so I have an "insiders" view.

Also the food industry is not using catfish as much..no one buys it like they used to.
 

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