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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Genetics, Physiology, and Health Research to Improve Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Hybrid catfish offers performance advantages for US catfish farmers

Author
item Chatakondi, Nagaraj

Submitted to: Global Aquaculture Advocate
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Citation: Chatakondi, N.G. 2012. Hybrid catfish offers performance advantages for US catfish farmers. Global Aquaculture Advocate. P. 22-23.

Interpretive Summary: Channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus is the single most important catfish species raised in the US and accounts for over 42% of the total value of US aquaculture production. Production inefficiencies, higher feed and fuel costs and competition from cheap imported fish has stagnated the US farm-raised catfish industry and production has decreased by a third in the last five years. With the interest of increasing the efficiency of catfish aquaculture operations, channel catfish females have been crossed with blue catfish males to produce a hybrid catfish. Based on a 2004 production pond trial in a commercial catfish farm, hybrid catfish outperformed channel catfish in all the production traits assessed. Recent increased availability of hybrid catfish fingerlings and consistent superior production of hybrid catfish in commercial catfish ponds appears US farm-raised catfish farmers will increasingly adopt hybrid catfish in catfish production ponds in years to come.

Technical Abstract: Channel x blue hybrid catfish is the only hybrid among 28 interspecific hybrid crosses and backcrosses evaluated within the family Ictaluridae to exhibit dominant traits desirable for intensive aquaculture. In a 2004 pond trial, hybrid catfish outperformed channel catfish in all the production traits assessed. Paucity of hybrid fry in commercial quantities has been a limiting factor for the large scale adoption of hybrid catfish in the catfish industry until recently. Improvements in hormone-induced spawning, better hatching techniques and the availability of genetically improved parental species have resulted in an increase in fry production. Increased availability of hybrid fingerlings coupled with consistent superior production of hybrid catfish in production ponds appears hybrid catfish is likely to be adopted by the US farm-raised catfish industry.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014