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7/12/2011 - Flooding may devastate catfish industry

The catfish industry along the Mississippi may be decimated by the recent flooding.

Businesses throughout the South are bracing for hard times as massive amounts of flooding has wreaked economic havoc for many, but the catfish industry could be hardest hit.

According to the Associated Press, the catfish residing in the Mississippi River brings in approximately $200 million in annual seafood sales to the Magnolia State, but the engorged river may flow over into fishermen's ponds. Taylor Webb, spokesman for Catfish Farmers of America, told the AP that if that happens, it could be a nightmare for the industry.

"If these ponds get flooded, the fish will just become part of the flood," said Webb. "Once the water subsides, there are going to be a lot what you call junk fish in there. You have to drain the pond, get everything out and start over."

The AP reports that Mississippi is the leading producer of farm-raised catfish and is the state's seventh largest commodity.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, flooding is the most common natural hazard in the U.S., making flood insurance an important part of businesses' coverage plans. Talk to your Selective agent today to make sure you’re covered or learn more about flood insurance from Selective.

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