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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Research Project #430668

Research Project: Evaluating Nutritional Requirements, Identifying Alternative Ingredients and Improving the Production Environment for Hybrid and Channel Catfish

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 6066-31320-005-03-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2016
End Date: Mar 30, 2019

Objective:
This project will address key production inefficiencies over a range of issues, including nutrition, production systems, pond ecology, and product quality. Application of research results in Objective 1 will address rising catfish feed costs, which represents about half of the variable cost of production. Work on this objective will focus on finding suitable replacements for traditional feed ingredients that have recently increased dramatically in price. Objective 2 will provide hybrid catfish producers with management tools to improve production efficiency. Maintenance feeding of market sized fish and fry feeding practices in nursery ponds will be addressed. Objective 3 will focus on pond ecology (i.e., water quality, phytoplankton, and zooplankton) and how it effects fish health and production. The three objectives will reduce production costs, improve efficiency and profitability of catfish farming, and diversify aquaculture production enterprises.

Approach:
Practical, production-related problems facing the farm-raised catfish industry in the southeastern United States will be addressed through a multidisciplinary approach focused on improving the efficiency of traditional cultural practices and developing new technologies to address inefficiencies associated with traditional pond culture technologies. Research projects will be conducted in the field using both research- and commercial-scale pond research facilities at the National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Stoneville, Mississippi. Research will address the following broad subject areas: fish nutrition and feeding, improved management practices for hybrid catfish, and pond ecology as it relates to fish health and production.