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Research and management of bird depredations at catfish farms

  • Author(s): Tobin, Mark E.
  • et al.
Abstract

Depredations by fish-eating birds are a major constraint on production at commercial catfish facilities in the southeastern United States. A recent survey of catfish farmers estimated total losses due to direct predation by birds and costs associated with employing preventive measures at $17 million, or 4% of national sales. In 1988, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) established a research station in Mississippi to develop more effective methods for reducing the impact of birds on southeastern aquaculture farms. This paper describes the impact of double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus, DCCO) on the catfish industry, describes control methods to reduce depredations by this species, and reviews some research currently being conducted at the NWRC Mississippi research station.

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