Catfish Farmers Say Imports Still Hurting Business

JANUARY 26, 2006 - Posted at 8:25 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A group that represents catfish farmers says the industry is still being hurt by imports from Vietnam.

The U.S. producers won a favorable trade ruling when the imports were restricted over two years ago.  But the producers say the reality is that sales of the less expensive fish continue to grow while U.S. catfish production has been stagnant.

Hugh Warren of the group Catfish Farmers of America says the producers want the imported fish to carry a "country of origin label" and they want further enforcement to ensure that Vietnamese basa or tra are not labeled as another type of fish.

The U.S. producers have exclusive hold over the name "catfish" as a brand, and they want that label extended.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)