Aquaculture America 2021

August 11 - 14, 2021

San Antonio, Texas

Add To Calendar 14/08/2021 09:15:0014/08/2021 09:35:00America/ChicagoAquaculture America 2021IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON THE U.S. CATFISH AQUACULTURE INDUSTRYRoom 3The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Jonathan van Senten* , Matthew A. Smith, Carole R. Engle,  Ganesh K umar,  Michael H. Schwarz,  Charles Clark, Shraddha Hegde , and Shannon Fluharty

Virginia Seafood AREC , Virginia Tech 
102 S king St., Hampton, VA 23666

In response to the COVID-19 disease pandemic an effort was launched to assess the impacts on U.S. aquaculture producers. As the largest sector of U.S. freshwater aquaculture, the catfish industry was a critical sector to include in this assessment. A majority (83%) of catfish respondents did report being impacted by the pandemic.  The disruption of  traditional marketing channels for the catfish industry resulted in loss of revenues  reported by 77% of catfish  producers. Lost sales reported ranged from $1,001 to more than $1 million. The disruptions and loss of revenue resulted in ripple effects that had subsequent impacts on farm labor and production activities (as well as goods and services) .  Eighty-six percent of respondents reported that prices would be reduced as market-sized catfish held in ponds would grow beyond the size that brings a premium price.  Catfish respondents to the surveys indicated challenges with labor; ranging from terminations to disruptions in labor due to illness or fear of illness.  Producers also reported anticipated disruptions to production activities that would follow farms for the 2-year product cycle. Comments submitted by producers noted increased costs for production inputs, particularly feed.  

This presentation will cover the findings regarding the i mpacts of COVID-19 on U.S. catfish a quaculture businesses.