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Concern over Tilapia Imports

by the Fish Site Editor
29 June 2009, at 1:00am

US - Imports of tilapia to the US have risen by 50 per cent since 2003 and the fish has become a challenger to the US catfish industry.

More than 60 per cent of foreign tilapia comes from China, but according to a report in the Tuscaloosa Newsthe product does not come under new federal regulations on stricter inspections for the domestic catfish industry's established rival, Asian catfish.

The Asian product will come under new rules under the Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.

These call for continuous inspection under the Department of Agriculture, but the regulations will only apply to catfish.

There is still some debate on whether Vietnamese basa and tra, which are a different species of catfish, will fall under the new rules, the report says.

Tilapia, another species of freshwater fish, saw imports into the US reach $734.4 million in 2008, when about 395,600 pounds of tilapia were imported compared with about 199,000 pounds in 2003.

the Fish Site Editor