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« เมื่อ: มีนาคม 07, 2007, 10:56:55 PM »

Source: Winston-Salem Journal  World News    7/03/2007 12:19:22

M. Paul Jackson

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said yesterday that the state’s sales of farmed trout and catfish rose last year because more people understand the nutritional value of fish.

 

According to the department, trout sales increased about 10 percent, to $7.2 million last year. Catfish sales increased 19 percent, also to about $7.2 million.

 

North Carolina ranks second, behind Idaho, in trout sales, the department said. The state ranks sixth in the country in catfish sales.

 

“Everybody likes to eat seafood,” said Matthew Parker, an aquaculture business specialist for the department.

 

Sales of trout have increased nationally as well. Trout sales increased 8 percent nationally, to about $75 million last year. Catfish sales fell marginally, by about $1 million, to $481 million last year.

 

There are 47 commercial trout growers in North Carolina, most of which are in the mountains in the western part of the state, Parker said.

 

There are 44 commercial catfish growers in state, mostly in the eastern part of the state, he said.

 

Most of the state’s trout and catfish go to fish-processing companies, according to the state.

 

Fish are healthy food for humans. They contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the risk of stroke.

 

But seafood can also have trace amounts of mercury. Parker said that the mercury levels in most fish are too low to be considered harmful. Farm-raised fish, including trout and catfish, are particularly healthy for consumers, he said.

 

“Mercury isn’t really a big issue at all,” he said. “It’s really blown out of proportion.”



Source or related URL: http://www.journalnow.com
 
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