Do you like Cajun cooking? Then you will love farm-raised channel catfish. This readily available fish is a perfect match for the strong flavors of traditional Cajun seasonings.

But you are not limited to Cajun style—catfish is as versatile as chicken, and its firm, flakey texture and mildly sweet flavor adapts well to any style of cooking. Try grilled chipotle U.S. farm-raised catfish with pineapple mint salsa and jasmine rice and U.S. farm-raised catfish étouffée.

Also known as:

Catfish, farmed catfish, channel catfish

Availability:

Year-round

Product forms:

Whole fish, fillets, steaks and nuggets, fresh or frozen; also frequently available pre-breaded or marinated

Shopping tips:

Look for U.S. farm-raised channel catfish. If you are buying fillets, look for white flesh and avoid brown or grey fillets.

Substitutions:

You can substitute farmed channel catfish for grouper and ocean perch.

Recipes:

Chipotle U.S. farm-raised catfish with pineapple mint salsa and jasmine rice

U.S. farm-raised catfish étouffée

Catfish farming: U.S.-farmed channel catfish are primarily raised in large, man-made ponds. More.

Conservation notes:

U.S.-farmed catfish is an ocean-friendly seafood choice because the fish are raised in isolated ponds and are fed a mostly-vegetarian diet. More.
Last updated: April 2008

 

Catfish farming

Farmed channel catfish are primarily raised in large, man-made ponds. The ponds are self-contained, which dramatically reduces the risk of fish escaping or spreading disease to wild populations. Catfish grow in these ponds for approximately 18 months. Pond-raised channel catfish can be stocked and harvested intermittently to produce a large range of fish sizes within the ponds. Harvesting with a large mesh seine net allows capture of only market-size fish and enables year-round production.

Conservation notes

Farmed channel catfish from the United States is one of the most environmentally responsible seafood choices available to consumers today. The farms are self contained, which significantly reduces any environmental impacts such as waste discharge, escaping fish or disease transmission. Farmed catfish are fed a mainly vegetarian diet, and chemical use is minimal.

Farmed channel catfish is the most commonly available catfish in U.S. fish markets. However, there is a different species of catfish, often labeled as basa or tra, which generally comes from aquaculture farms in the Vietnam Mekong Delta region, which may not be farmed in the same responsible way. Therefore, choosing U.S. farmed catfish ensures making an environmentally responsible seafood choice. There are, of course, individual farms in other countries that also have high environmental standards, look for those products that highlight their environmentally responsible actions.