Catfish Treatment and Disease Prevention: Keeping Your Underwater Friends Healthy

Catfish are some of the most popular and hardy freshwater fish species kept in aquariums and home ponds. Their unique appearance and engaging behavior make them a beloved addition to any aquatic environment. However, like all pets, catfish can suffer from various diseases if their habitat and care aren’t properly maintained. In this blog post, we will explore common catfish diseases, treatment options, and preventive measures to ensure your catfish thrive in a healthy environment.

Common Catfish Diseases:

  1. Ichthyophthirius (Ich): Ich, or white spot disease, is a parasitic infection that causes small white cysts to form on the skin and gills of fish. Catfish with ich may display increased gill movement, rubbing against objects, and a loss of appetite.
  2. Columnaris Disease: This bacterial infection often affects catfish with stressed immune systems. Symptoms include white, cotton-like patches on the skin, fin rot, and lethargy.
  3. Fin Rot: Fin rot is a common bacterial infection that causes the deterioration of a catfish’s fins. It can result from poor water quality and is characterized by frayed or eroded fins.
  4. Swim Bladder Disease: Swim bladder disease affects a catfish’s ability to control buoyancy. Affected fish may float to the surface or sink to the bottom, displaying erratic swimming behavior.

Treatment Options:

  1. Isolation: If you notice any signs of illness in one of your catfish, it’s crucial to isolate the infected individual to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish.
  2. Medications: Several over-the-counter medications are available for treating common catfish diseases, such as ich and fin rot. Follow the instructions carefully and be patient, as treatments can take several days to show results.
  3. Salt Baths: Mild salt baths can help reduce the severity of some diseases, particularly external parasites. Ensure that you use aquarium or pond salt and follow dosing instructions.
  4. Antibiotics: For bacterial infections like columnaris disease, consult with a veterinarian or aquarium specialist to determine the appropriate antibiotic treatment.

Disease Prevention:

  1. Quarantine New Fish: Before introducing new catfish into your aquarium or pond, quarantine them for a few weeks in a separate tank to monitor for any signs of illness.
  2. Maintain Good Water Quality: Regular water changes and adequate filtration are essential to keep water parameters stable. Catfish are sensitive to poor water quality, which can weaken their immune system.
  3. Balanced Diet: Feed your catfish a well-balanced diet that suits their species and size. High-quality food will boost their overall health and immune system.
  4. Stress Reduction: Minimize stress by providing hiding spots, appropriate tank mates, and maintaining a consistent environment.
  5. Regular Observation: Keep a close eye on your catfish for any signs of illness. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment.

Conclusion:

Keeping your catfish healthy and disease-free is a rewarding endeavor. By following proper care and preventive measures, you can provide a safe and thriving environment for your underwater friends. Remember to consult with experienced aquarists or veterinarians if you encounter any issues beyond your expertise, as early intervention can make a significant difference in the health and well-being of your catfish.

Supporting Your Poultry Farming Journey

At Bluefish Farm, we’re committed to empowering poultry farmers in Nigeria. We offer top-quality poultry breeds, feeds, and a wealth of resources and expertise to ensure your success.

Start your poultry farming journey today and become a key player in Nigeria’s agriculture and food security landscape. Contact us to kickstart your poultry farming venture!

Unlocking Prosperity with Poultry Farming in Nigeria: Your Path to Sustainable Agriculture

The Nigerian Poultry Revolution

Nigeria’s growing population and increasing demand for protein-rich diets have catapulted poultry farming into the spotlight. Poultry products, such as chicken meat and eggs, are dietary staples and preferred sources of affordable protein. Here’s why poultry farming should be on your radar:

  1. Growing Demand: Nigeria’s appetite for poultry products is insatiable. It’s a market that’s constantly expanding, offering significant opportunities for poultry farmers.
  2. Economic Empowerment: Poultry farming creates jobs and income opportunities, particularly in rural areas. By starting your poultry farm, you can contribute to local economic growth and empowerment.
  3. Food Security: Poultry farming plays a crucial role in ensuring food security. Your farm can contribute to a steady supply of high-quality protein to communities across Nigeria.

Getting Started with Poultry Farming in Nigeria

  1. Knowledge and Training: Begin your journey by gaining a solid understanding of poultry farming. Attend training programs, workshops, or consult experienced poultry farmers to acquire essential knowledge.
  2. Business Plan: Develop a well-thought-out business plan that outlines your goals, budget, and marketing strategies.
  3. Site Selection: Choose a suitable location for your poultry farm, ensuring access to clean water, proper ventilation, and proximity to markets.
  4. Infrastructure: Invest in well-designed poultry houses, coops, or cages to provide your birds with a comfortable and disease-free environment.
  5. Stocking and Care: Select healthy and reputable breeds. Proper feeding, disease prevention, and good management practices are vital for your flock’s well-being.
  6. Egg and Meat Production: Depending on your goals, you can focus on egg production, meat production, or both. Explore different poultry breeds and production systems to determine what suits your farm best.

Supporting Your Poultry Farming Journey

At Bluefish Farm, we’re committed to empowering poultry farmers in Nigeria. We offer top-quality poultry breeds, feeds, and a wealth of resources and expertise to ensure your success.

Start your poultry farming journey today and become a key player in Nigeria’s agriculture and food security landscape. Contact us to kickstart your poultry farming venture!

Stay tuned to our blog for more insights, success stories, and valuable tips to make your poultry farming venture a resounding success.

Catfish Farming: Nigeria’s Gateway to Prosperity and Sustainable Agriculture

Are you searching for a dynamic and rewarding business opportunity in Nigeria’s ever-evolving agricultural landscape? Look no further than catfish farming! It’s not just a venture; it’s a path to sustainable agriculture, economic empowerment, and food security. In this post, we’ll delve into the world of catfish farming and how you can be part of this thriving industry.

The Nigerian Catfish Revolution

Nigeria’s growing population and increasing appetite for fish have driven a remarkable surge in the catfish farming sector. As the country’s leading source of protein, catfish occupies a pivotal role in Nigerian cuisine. Here’s why you should consider becoming a catfish farmer:

  1. Rising Demand: Nigeria’s demand for catfish continues to rise, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. Catfish remains a staple in local diets and is a preferred choice for its taste and affordability.
  2. Job Creation: Catfish farming has the potential to generate employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas. By establishing your catfish farm, you can contribute to local economic development.
  3. Food Security: As an essential protein source, catfish farming contributes to food security in Nigeria. Your farm can play a part in ensuring a steady supply of this vital nutrient to communities across the nation.

Getting Started with Catfish Farming in Nigeria

  1. Research and Training: Start by gaining knowledge about catfish farming. Attend training programs, workshops, or seek guidance from experienced farmers to learn the ropes.
  2. Business Plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, budget, and marketing strategies.
  3. Site Selection: Choose an appropriate location for your farm, ensuring access to clean water, proper drainage, and proximity to markets.
  4. Infrastructure: Invest in well-constructed ponds or tanks, which are essential for catfish farming success.
  5. Stocking and Care: Carefully select your fingerlings or juveniles. Proper feeding, water quality management, and disease prevention are crucial for healthy growth.
  6. Harvesting and Marketing: Harvest your catfish at the right size and explore various marketing channels, such as local markets, restaurants, or fish processing plants.

Supporting Your Catfish Farming Journey

At Bluefish Farm, we’re dedicated to empowering catfish farmers in Nigeria. We offer top-quality catfish fingerlings, juveniles, and a wealth of resources and expertise to ensure your success.

Embark on this exciting journey today and become a vital player in Nigeria’s agriculture and food security landscape. Contact us to kickstart your catfish farming venture!

Stay tuned to our blog for more insights, success stories, and valuable tips to make your catfish farming venture a resounding success.

Unlocking Success in Catfish Farming: A Guide for Nigerian Aquaculturists

Are you ready to dive into the world of aquaculture and explore the incredible opportunities it offers right here in Nigeria? Catfish farming has emerged as a lucrative and sustainable venture, and today, we’re here to shed light on how you can be part of this thriving industry.

Why Catfish Farming in Nigeria?

Nigeria’s favorable climate, vast water resources, and growing demand for seafood make it an ideal destination for catfish farming. Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider venturing into this exciting field:

  1. High Demand: The demand for catfish in Nigeria is soaring. With a population of over 200 million people, the market for fresh, locally-produced catfish is constantly expanding.
  2. Profitability: Catfish farming can be a profitable venture when done right. Proper management and techniques can yield substantial returns on your investment.
  3. Sustainability: Unlike some other forms of protein production, catfish farming is environmentally friendly and can be practiced with minimal impact on natural resources.

Getting Started with Catfish Farming

  1. Selecting Your Site: Choose a suitable location for your fish farm. Ensure access to clean water, good soil, and proximity to markets.
  2. Choosing Your Catfish Species: Common catfish species in Nigeria include the Clarias gariepinus (African catfish) and Heterobranchus longifilis (Nigerian catfish). Select the species that aligns with your goals and local demand.
  3. Building Ponds or Tanks: Construct well-designed ponds or tanks based on your budget and space. Proper pond construction is crucial for successful farming.
  4. Water Management: Maintain proper water quality and temperature. Regularly check and adjust pH levels, oxygen content, and water circulation.
  5. Feeding and Nutrition: Provide high-quality, nutritionally balanced feed to ensure healthy growth. Consult with a nutritionist or expert for the best feeding practices.
  6. Disease Prevention: Implement biosecurity measures to prevent disease outbreaks. Regularly monitor your fish for signs of illness and take prompt action if necessary.
  7. Harvesting and Marketing: Harvest your catfish at the right size and market them to local restaurants, markets, or processing plants.

Resources and Support for Catfish Farmers

At Bluefish Farm, we’re committed to supporting aspiring and experienced catfish farmers in Nigeria. Explore our range of catfish fingerlings, juveniles, and expert guidance to kickstart your journey to success.

Catfish farming in Nigeria holds incredible potential for those willing to invest time and effort. Join the ranks of successful aquaculturists and contribute to the nation’s food security while building a profitable business.

Ready to take the plunge into catfish farming? Contact us today, and let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

Stay tuned to our blog for more tips, insights, and success stories from the world of catfish farming in Nigeria.

Starting a fish farming in 2023: things you must know

If you are starting a fish farming in 2023, things have changed. The world has changed. Agriculture has changed. The way we used to farm before has changed. Yet Fish farming remains a profitable and safe venture for new entrants into agriculture. Here are 7 tips to keep an eye for as you start your fish farm.

Let us dive in and discuss 7 questions you should answer before you start a fish farm in 2023.

1. Start with the market or sales target.

The world is a global village now.

You can decide to export your fish. The requirements of NAFDAC  mean that you should let the decision of your target market influence the setup of your farm.

If you want to export your fish you know that your ponds water source must be controlled. You cannot use runoff water for the farm. You would need a borehole that can be tested.

If you are raising over 20,000 fish, you know that you would need those clients who buy fish in tonnes. They would always bring buses, so you need parking space close to the ponds. You would also prefer earthen ponds because you would be keeping the fish for at least 7 months.

But if you are doing about 10 thousand fish, you can do mobile tarpaulin fish ponds. You can stagger your fishes because you would sell your fishes little by little rather than the whole pond at once.

To know the number of fish you can raise. Use 700naira as a cost price to raise one fish to 1kg.

That means 1000 fishes is 700,000. Oya realistically, how many fishes can you raise to 1kg?

Please don’t start a farm and then stop short because of funds. It would make you under pressure and then sell at a loss price because you don’t have the funds to continue to feed the fishes.

Start small and let the farm grow.

akinfish and tarpaulin wooden ponds

2. Secure your water.

As I said earlier, water is one of the 3 most important things in fish farming.

It is called Aquaculture for a reason.

Water cannot be rationed, it cannot be managed. You need a borehole or a running stream or a swamp to ensure you have running water year-round. 

Water should always be readily available.

Discuss with your borehole guy, you need an industrial borehole. It must support a 2-horse power pumping machine and at least a 2-inch pipe coming out from the borehole. I am serious! It is better we have one very good borehole than have 3 small insufficient boreholes.

Surface Pumping machine

3. Use production target to determine ponds type and size

There are different fish pond types and they best suit different fish farming activities.

There are tanks, earthen ponds, fiberglass setups, concrete ponds, mobile fish ponds, and recirculatory systems.

Fiberglass setups and recirculatory systems are usually best for fish hatching and the creation of juveniles and fingerlings.

Mobile ponds, Concrete ponds, and Tanks are best for mélange and smoking-sized fish.

Earthen ponds are best for table size fishes and broodstock.

When starting a fish farm in 2023, make sure you calculate your stocking density.

You should know the exact number of fish to put in each pond.

A 10*10*4ft mobile pond would take about 800 fish.

The smallest earthen pond you should do for growing out fishes should be 50ft*30ft depending on water availability. That can take about 500 fish.

Asher different sizes of tarpaulin ponds

4. Innovation: What is your advantage?

Please know that every farm is different, yet every farm is the same business.

As you are coming into the fish industry, what is your comparative advantage?

Is it that you are closer to your consumers so you can serve them better and fresher fish?

Is it that you are close to a water source and so water which is one of the three most important factors in fish farming is not a challenge to you?

Can you use Solar to power your pumping machines rather than a fuel-powered generator?

Would you think of reducing labor costs by deploying an Automatic Fish Feeder and thus your product is cheaper?

Are you thinking of Climate change and its challenges in you starting the fish farm in 2023?

fish cages

5. The almighty Feed issue

Fish feed should be about 70 percent expense on a well-set-up fish farm.

If you set up your fish farm properly then you should have feed expense, water change, cost of fingerlings and juvenile, and cost of labor (staff salaries) as your topmost expense in your fish farm.

Now I know that you have heard that you can make your own feed, it is true.

And I do make my own feed in some farms; however, I don’t make my own feed in all of my farms.

Some of the farms are not big enough to make that venture worth it.

I personally advise that if you are not doing 10,000 fish and above you shouldn’t bother with fish feed-making machines.

The money you would use to buy and run those machines is higher than what you think you would save from buying a normal branded feed.

There are good and economic fish feeds available right now.

 See this article where I talked about how to make a decision on which feed to use in starting your fish farm in 2023.

You can use either imported fish feeds like Skretting and Coppens or made in Nigeria feeds like Vital, Top, Bluecrown or Ecofloat feeds.

fish feeds

6. Fish Processing the superpower

Please, as you are starting a fish farm in 2023, factor in fish processing. This is dried fish or smoked fish depending on whatever you call it. 

Smoked fish brings more proft. 

It increases your profit by about 13 percent.

You would need a fish smoking kiln, some materials such as sealing machine and nafdac grade nylons and you are good to go !

fish smoking kiln2
nylon for smoked fish
smoked fish sealing machine

7. The Source of your Juveniles or fingerlings

This is a big issue that either makes or mars fish farms that are just starting.

Some people unknowingly buy runts and keep feeding and feeding and the fish don’t grow.

This is not always the case as there are other factors that make fish have stunted growth e.g overcrowding or poor feed.

But buying runts as fingerlings is a real possibility for anyone starting a fish farm in 2023. The best way to avoid this is to buy fish only from a reputable fish hatcher.

This article here would teach you how to identify and buy the best-growing fish from any batch of fish.

fingerlings or juveniles 2

8. The Administration of Agriculture

The truth friends is that there is a lot of politics going on in and around our environment that can either be support or hindrance to starting our fish farm.

Government Agencies, Grant and Loan applications, and processes, digital empowerment can be an addition or a blessing to a farm.

Even your staff on the farm can be a hindrance to your business.

I like to put accountability structures when doing business with family.

I trust you as my brother o, but let’s just have proper record-taking for accountability’s sake so that we can show our records to people that can give us a loan or grant sef. You Gerrit?

The African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

In 1976, the Netherlands became the first country in Europe to import African catfish. 40 African catfish imported from the Central African Republic to the Netherlands served as the initial broodstock. In recirculating aquaculture systems, commercial cultivation of this species began around 1985. (RAS).

Israel and South African catfish strains were imported much later. The “Dutch strain” of African catfish, which is now being cultivated, was created by crossing these strains in order to produce fingerlings.

On a farmer’s level, choosing brood stock is often done in a rather simple manner. It is highly expensive to maintain and strictly separate large populations of several African catfish strains over extended periods of time. If you are successful, the effects become apparent after a few years. For the commercial farmer, the next challenge is to maintain this edge for himself.

The need to demonstrate to his client the advantages of a superior strain is another challenge for the farmer raising African catfish fingerlings. In the eyes of a researcher, increases in growth and feed conversion ratio of, say, 5% are major accomplishments, but for a farmer, these improvements represent modest variations that are likely to go unnoticed without rigorous farm records.

Practically speaking, pricing is the primary factor influencing the market for fingerling African catfish. The availability, size, consistency, and health state of the African catfish are all priorities for hatcheries.

The majority of African catfish farmers (in the tropics and in Europe) are small to medium sized, poorly organized, and lack the resources and skills necessary to do meaningful research on genetic enhancements of their stocks. Universities have conducted the scant genetic study on African catfish, but it has never been taken seriously in reality.

Selection of African catfish broodstock

The production of African catfish is a relatively recent business. It began in Europe in the early 1980s, and at that time, only few farmers in Africa were engaged in widespread farming activities.

Picture of a ready-to-spawn African catfish broodstock

The initial broodstock originated in the wild. For instance, wild African catfish were imported into the Netherlands from Central Africa, and the first selection was made primarily on size. In my perspective, we were just selecting fish that could adapt to the intense farming methods used in warm water recirculation systems. Fish were brought in from Israel and RSA not long after the arrival of African catfish from Central Africa. The “Dutch African catfish” is a product of three strains since the strains were not maintained distinct in the Netherlands.

The processing business places a great deal of importance on the quality of the meat and the proportion of dress out. The strains from various parts of Africa differ from one another. Because fish is consumed whole in the tropics—no filets are removed from the fish, and heads and guts are not wasted—the element of flesh quality and dressing proportion is less significant.

Africa catfish hybridization
Heterobranchus and Clarias species interbred to create intergeneric hybrids, which are animals that belong to the Siluriformes order of animals (Ref.). The so-called “Hetero-clarias” is a well-known intergeneric hybrid created by mating a male Heterobranchus longifillis with a female Clarias gariepinus (see figure 5). The intergeneric hybrids exhibit traits from both parental species as a result of rearranging genetic material from both parents in the child.

For a group of farmers connected to a processing factory, we are raising this hybrid in our hatchery in the Netherlands. This group is particularly committed to raising and selling this kind of fish. Heteroclarias filets are white in color as opposed to Clarias gariepinus filets, which are pink or reddish, and have 30% more fat, which enhances the flavor. In hybrids, the gonads are essentially nonexistent and inactive. Because of this, the dressing % is higher than it would be for Clarias gariepinus. White filets from marine fish species can be substituted with the Heteroclarias fish filet.

Hybrid Heteroclarias juvenile showing characteristics of both Clarias (skin colour and body shape) and Heterobranchus (adipose fin, see detail picture below)
Detailed picture of the adipose fin (not connected as it is with Clarias gariepinus
A market size Heteroclarias is shown on the picture
A close up of a Heterobranchus longifilis fingerling. Please note the adipose fin (as shown in the hybrid)

benefits of hybridizing catfish
As a producer of Heteroclaria fingerlings, we see significant behavioral variations from the common African catfish. When frequent grading is ignored, the Heteroclarias fingerlings exhibit extreme cannibalism and exhibit a broad range of development. The Heteroclarias is readily strained in comparison to this. Well-graded fish exhibit highly equitable development and low mortality to the point of harvest at 1.4 kg at 12 weeks of age.

In the tropics, Heteroclarias is regarded as a better growing fish and is preferred over Clarias gariepinus for pond cultivation.

A producer of fingerlings will greatly benefit from hybridization. Because the hybrids are sterile, buyers cannot use those fish to continue reproducing. Pure parent stock is always kept on-site and never distributed to other farms. As compared to Clarias gariepinus, the pure Heterobranchus longifillis strain develops at a fairly late age of 2 years (1 year).

Upkeep of the African catfish broodstock
To obtain high-quality eggs and sperm, good brood stock maintenance is required. To have traceability for each batch of progeny and the potential for a breeding program, the broodstock should be individually branded. With the use of individual tagging, it is feasible to keep accurate records and ensure that the broodstock is given adequate time to recuperate after spawning.

For obvious reasons, broodstock should be kept apart from other farm activities:

  • To protect them from stress and illnesses
  • To achieve a year-round reproductive cycle, they must optimize their environment through a consistent light regime and consistent water quality.

We prefer recirculation systems in a confined area with temperature control if necessary. In the tropics flow through systems can work too if flushed with good quality borehole water.

Productivity of female broodstock

In our farm, the productivity of the female (fecundity) expressed as a percentage of the body weight is between 5-15%. The egg size tends to increase with the size of the female. In larger fish, the number of eggs per gram of eggs is lower than in smaller broodstock. On average, we count 500 eggs per gram. The average females we are using in our farm have a weight of 6 kg and produce 300-600 grams of eggs per female which equals to 150.000-300.000 eggs.

Egg production of African catfish

A female fish is selected from one of the broodstock fish tanks. With a small tube, it is possible to sample the eggs out of the ovaries to check if the nucleus has migrated to the side and if the egg size has a diameter of 1 mm or above. Most farmers do not perform this check as they just select by eye.

In captivity, females do not perform the final ripening of the eggs without hormonal treatment. The injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the form of natural pituitary glands or synthetic products like OVAPRIM induces the final step of ripening called vitellogenesis. In this final step the eggs are provided with yolk and take up water.

The period between injection with hormones and stripping of the eggs depends on the temperature of the water and the type of hormone used. Through trial and error, the perfect time for stripping can be determined. Too early or to late stripping results in bad egg quality and thus poor spawning results.

  • Too early stripping results in a very dry egg mass. It is difficult to completely strip the female because the eggs do not flow out. The female often dies because of stress and internal injuries.
  • Too late stripping results in a fluid egg mass. Often the female already released a lot of eggs in the preparation tank but stripping is very easy.

Stripping an African catfish female

Several hours after stripping we perform final stripping to remove all ripe eggs from the ovaries of the female. This is to prevent that these ripe eggs die inside the ovaries and start to deteriorate. This will harm the fish and can cause death of the broodstock female. The females have to stay in recovery for a couple of days before putting them back to the broodstock tank.

Stripping an African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) female

Productivity of male broodstock

Sperm Harvesting

Male African catfish do not release sperm after treatment with hormones like many other fish species. The males have ripe sperm all year round. The fish should be at least 1 year old to have ripe gonads. A lot of variation can be seen between males of the same age in the ripeness and size of the testis. In practice, farmers sacrifice males in order to dissect the testis out of the abdomen. By making incisions in the testis tissue the sperm can be collected. As a consequence new male broodstock needs to be added to the broodstock population sacrificing the males is a big constraint on genetic programs.

Some farmers are using operations on the males. After tranquilizing the fish, a small incision is made in the belly of the fish, and with a syringe with needle, some sperm is taken out of the testis. Finally, the incision in the belly is stitched using veterinary stitching material and the male is able to recover in 1 to 2 weeks. During this time the wound closes completely.

Unlike the sperm of mammals sperm of fish is not active, but will become active as soon as it is in the water. The sperm is active for less than a minute, so it has to find an egg quickly before all the energy has gone. This is the reason that during the process of sperm collection all materials, hands, and fish should be dry. Although these precautions are taken, the sperm can be activated accidentally. The sperm concentration of good males is more than a million per ml!

Fertilization of African catfish

The eggs and sperm are collected in a dry glass or porcelain bowl and a dry small glass or porcelain cup respectively. A simple but effective way of fertilization is to bring the eggs and sperm together in the egg collection bowl and mix it gently before adding water.

In literature adding certain fertilizing solutions during fertilization is reported as being very beneficial because they are thought to extend the life of the sperm in order to improve the fertilization rate. I prefer not to use any extra fluids because any extra handling can give a problem too.

Artificial propagation of African catfish is a relatively simple procedure and many farmers are very skillful in doing it. Millions of larvae are hatched weekly in a country like Nigeria but until today there still is a shortage of good-quality fingerlings and juveniles. Reproduction of African catfish is following a certain procedure, but farming the larvae for 1 or 2 months to the juvenile stage comes down to the capabilities of the individual farmer.

Catfish Health, Nutrients and Benefits

Catfish are one of the oldest and most widespread fish species, adapting well to their environment. They thrive worldwide, with the exception of some places with extreme temperatures. This article details the nutrients, benefits, and downsides of catfish.

Nutrition Facts

This common fish has a terrific nutritional profile.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of fresh catfish provides (1Trusted Source):

    • Calories: 105

    • Fat: 2.9 grams

    • Protein: 18 grams

    • Sodium: 50 mg

    • Vitamin B12: 121% of the Daily Value (DV)

    • Selenium: 26% of the DV

    • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV

    • Thiamine: 15% of the DV

    • Potassium: 19% of the DV

    • Cholesterol: 24% of the DV

    • Omega-3 fatty acids: 237 mg

    • Omega-6 fatty acids: 337 mg

In addition to being low in calories and sodium, catfish is packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Catfish is a low calorie, high protein seafood that’s a great source of nutrients, including vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Catfish is a good source of various nutrients but low in calories, making it nutrient dense.

It is packed with lean protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissue and muscle, as well as for hormones, enzymes, and other molecules.

One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish provides 32-39% of your daily protein needs in only 105 calories, compared to salmon providing half of your daily protein needs but over 230 calories. Nutrient-dense protein sources like catfish may aid weight loss by boosting feelings of fullness.

This fish is also a great option for people who are watching their calorie count but want to make sure they’re getting enough nutrients.

Contains omega-3 fatty acids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends eating up to 8 ounces of fish or other seafood each week (3Trusted Source).

One reason for this recommendation is that catfish and other seafood tend to provide more omega-3 fatty acids than other foods (4Trusted Source).

Omega-3 fatty acids are renowned for their role in brain health.

Although more research is needed, they may even help treat neurological and mental conditions, including memory loss, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source).

What’s more, omega-3s are linked to improvements in skeletal muscle strength, heart health, and even the gut microbiome — the collection of healthy bacteria in your gut (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

A review of 23 studies in over 1 million people associated eating fish with an overall lower risk of death — and a 7% reduction in the chance of death for every 200 mg of omega-3s consumed daily (11Trusted Source).

Given that your body cannot produce omega-3s on its own, you need to get them through your diet. One 3.5-ounce (100-gram) catfish fillet delivers 237 mg, or 15–20% of the Adequate Intake (AI) for adults (5Trusted Source).

While catfish does provide omega-3s, it is a leaner fish that provides fewer fatty acids than a fatty fish like salmon.

A 3-ounce serving of fatty fish like salmon can contain up to 1,800 mg of omega-3s compared with a 3-ounce serving of catfish which contains only 200 mg of omega-3s (12Trusted Source).

A good source of vitamin B12

A single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish boasts up to 121% of the DV for vitamin B12, which many people are deficient in (1Trusted Source).

Though several fish are high in this vitamin, catfish is a particularly outstanding source.

Adequate vitamin B12 levels are tied to several potential health benefits, including improved mental health, protection against heart disease, and prevention and treatment of anemia (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source20Trusted Source).

All the same, further studies are needed on some of these benefits (21Trusted Source).

Cooking methods for catfish

Catfish can absolutely be part of a balanced diet, but cooking methods greatly influence how healthy it is.

This table examines how various cooking methods affect the calorie, sodium, and fat contents in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of catfish (22Trusted Source23Trusted Source24Trusted Source):

  Dry heat without oil Baked or broiled
with oil
Breaded and fried
Calories 105 178 229
Fat 2.9 grams 10.9 grams 13.3 grams
Sodium 50 mg 433 mg 280 mg

Though catfish is commonly fried, other cooking options result in lower calorie, fat, and sodium contents.

Compared with dry heat cooking, frying catfish in oil adds as many as 124 calories and over 10 grams of fat. In contrast, some healthy dry heat cooking methods include baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, and pan frying.

NOTE

How you cook catfish significantly affects its calorie, fat, and sodium levels. For a healthier option, stick with a dry heat method like baking or broiling.

Wondering if It’s Safe to Eat Catfish?

Fish is generally considered a healthy food source, but some people may want to limit their intake due to mercury, a common contaminant in fish that can harm a child’s development. Check with your doctor if you have any doubts, as the nutritional tradeoff is usually worth it due to the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

A lot of people vouch for buying only wild-caught fish, but not everyone is aware of its differences from farm-raised seafood. 

Farm-raised seafood is farmed in large tanks after living their entire lives in a controlled environment. Wild-caught refers to fishes that come directly from their natural habitats.

Surprisingly, farm-raised seafood often contains higher levels of contaminants than wild-caught. Plus, they are more prone to diseases due to farming policies and have more saturated fats.

On the other hand, wild-caught fishes are lower in omega-3 fatty acids but often remain the better option due to previous concerns. However, they are generally more expensive, so keep that in mind before you go to the store.

Which Catfish Products Should I Buy?

Many catfish products can be found on the market, each with its own pros and cons. However, before heading to your local grocer, you should define whether you’ll want dressed catfish or not. Dressed refers to fishes that have been cleaned, with some of their dangerous parts cut off.

Health Benefits of Catfish?

Catfish is a low-calorie meal that provides essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, proteins, and omega-3. It is also versatile and affordable.

Catfish is a popular game fish, but it also has many nutritional benefits. It is affordable and available in the US.

These species are known for having sensory organs called barbels that resemble whiskers, making them easily recognizable. They usually live in lakes and streams, although you can also find their nests in deep pools that provide cover for the younger catfish. At night, adults move into shallower water — which is usually when fishers catch them.

People often describe the catfish taste as being milder in flavor than other fishes, similar to sweet whitefish. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it also means that catfish can easily be adapted into your diet through various recipes.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Catfish?

Catfish, like most other fishes, has valuable nutritional properties that make it ideal for sustaining a balanced diet. Paired with its mild flavor and affordable prices, catfish is a fantastic alternative to more expensive meats such as pork.

Low in calories. Catfish only has about 98 calories in a 100-gram portion, making it a great choice for people looking after their weight. This also makes it ideal for replacing other, more caloric meats such as poultry in most recipes.

Fantastic protein source. Like most fish, catfish is known for providing a lot of protein — a 100-gram serving contains 13 grams, representing 26% of the recommended daily quantity. Protein is crucial for maintaining and growing cells and tissues.

High in vitamin B12. Most people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 — a compound vital to nerve function, cell metabolism, and DNA production. Catfish is an excellent source for it, surpassing the daily recommended value in a single 100-gram serving.

Provides healthy fats. While it does have a slight amount of saturated fats, catfish also provides a good amount of healthy lipids in a single portion. Plus, fish is also known to contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease, dementia, and cancer.

Steps to process smoke and dry catfish using firewood and charcoal-fuelled oven

Processing catfish using firewood and a charcoal-fuelled oven gives the fish a unique taste that is reminiscent of traditional home cooking. The process is meticulous and it results in smoked and dried catfish that attracts premium prices from discerning consumers.

What you need:

  1. 50 kilograms (kg) of live catfish
  2. 500 grams (g) of table salt
  3. Two fish feed sacks (polythene type)
  4. Two large plastic basins/bowls
  5. A brick oven (powered by firewood and charcoal)
  6. Six bundles of firewood
  7. One big sack of charcoal
  8. Water
  9. Knife or razor blades
  10. Soap

Day 1  

  1. Killing;
  2. Washing;
  3. Degutting;
  4. Firing the oven;
  5. Smoking;

Day 2 – Drying

Day 3 – Drying

Day 4 – Drying