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CTSA# 122

Bacterial Diseases in Chinese Catfish

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The Chinese catfish (Clarias fuscus) is prized by many consumers as a fresh and flavorful alternative to the numerous varieties of saltwater fish caught each day in Hawaiian waters. Indeed, Hawaii’s Chinese catfish aquaculture industry has grown tremendously, with the value of the crop jumping from just $15,000 dollars a year in 1984 to approximately $400,000 dollars per year just ten years later (industry figures courtesy of the Aquaculture Development Program, State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources). Despite this overall growth in catfish production, some Chinese catfish farms in Hawaii have suffered significant economic losses due to the periodic outbreak of bacterial disease that increase fish mortality. While scientists have made important strides in understanding and combating these bacterial ailments in the past three years, more research is needed to ensure the continued viability of this exciting and expanding aquaculture crop in Hawaii and other parts of the world.
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