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Nutrition and FeedingResearchers seek to develop low-cost feeds and more efficient feeding strategies for catfish, to optimize nutrient utilization, to gain new information on effects of nutrition and feeding on fish health and effects of feed-borne mycotoxins on catfish growth and health, and to develop nutrient enhanced, value-added catfish products through nutrition.

Production Practices and Water QualityThe overall goal of production and water quality research is to improve catfish production by developing management practices that provide greater control over the pond environment. At present, the program focuses on management of environmental off-flavors, pond fertility, waste discharge, dissolved oxygen, and the development of alternative pond culture systems.

Genetics -- USDA/Agricultural Research Service/Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit. The overall goal of the USDA-ARS catfish genetics program is to enhance production efficiency by developing improved strains of catfish. Scientists are determining inheritance of desirable characteristics, developing strategies for genetically improving catfish for commercial production, and developing and releasing improved catfish germplasm for use as seed stock for commercial production. 

Applied Fish HealthThe goal is to develop management strategies to optimize fish health and minimize the impact of disease-related losses. Specific areas of research have been identified through interactions with industry advisory groups, extension service representatives, and research personnel in other disciplines, agencies, and institutions. Areas of focus include developing early disease detection methodologies, establishing disease monitoring programs, identifying risk factors that influence the onset and severity of disease outbreaks, and developing best management practices to prevent and manage disease outbreaks with minimal economic loss to producers.

Disease DiagnosticsStaff seeks to provide a comprehensive disease diagnostic service, investigate the causes of new and emerging diseases, and identify management strategies that decrease the impact of disease related losses on farms.

Harvest and Gear Technology.  Researchers seek to increase harvest and grading efficiencies through the improvement of conventional gear or the development of new gear.  New technologies, materials, and ideas from researchers across the southeastern USA will all be utilized in a cooperative effort to make improvement in this area.  

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