After a challenging year, the catfish business bounces back

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 19, 2019
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North Caroline catfish is shown March 14, 2002 during the 20th annual International Boston Seafood Show in Boston, MA.  Darren McCollester/Getty Images

After a challenging year, the catfish business bounces back

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Apr 19, 2019
North Caroline catfish is shown March 14, 2002 during the 20th annual International Boston Seafood Show in Boston, MA.  Darren McCollester/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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For catfish farmers, inventory can be tough to manage. It takes years for a catfish to mature into a healthy product for the market. Throw in a warm winter, and you just might get too many catfish, which drives down the price. Townsend Kyser is a Marketplace regular who runs Kyser Family Farms with his dad in Greensboro, Alabama. We visited him a few years back, as part of our My Economy series, when business was strong. It slowed down a bit in 2018, but has started to recover. One thing that stays the same? The annual catfish dinner for Congress, a yearly event where members are treated to an American fish-fry dinner. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal caught up with Kyser this week. 

“It’s very difficult in the fish business because it takes so long to raise a crop,” Kyser said. “From birth to processing [takes] about two and a half years, so it’s hard manage inventories on the farm.” 

 

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