Catfish inspection rules worry major US distributor

Published on
March 22, 2017

At least major U.S. seafood distributor will likely be unable to continue carrying its popular blue catfish if new inspection regulations go into effect in September as planned.

Samuels and Son has built up sales of blue catfish over the past few years and now moves around 2,000 pounds a week, according to Joe Lospragata, vice president of new product development for Samuels and Son Seafood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The new regulations would require United States Department of Agriculture inspectors to be on site for all catfish products, whether they are domestic or imported.

“We probably won’t be able to continue to do what we’ve been doing: repacking fillets from the invasive blue catfish in the Chesapeake Bay,” Lospragata told SeafoodSource at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, Massachusetts. “I will have to have inspectors on-site.”

Meanwhile, Samuels & Son displayed several new products at the expo, including a line from Les Grands Viviers, a generational supplier in Senegal. Samuels & Son carries Les Grands Viviers' pink snapper, grouper, John Dory, rockfish, jumbo calamari and other species.

“Their small boats leave the local fishing villages for eight to 12 hours at a time, returning with an incredible catch that is immediately packed in ice for processing,” the distributor said in a statement.

Samuels & Son is also featuring wild Paradise Shrimp from Mexico, Ora king salmon from New Zealand King Salmon, and Hawaiian Kanpachi from Blue Ocean Mariculture. In addition, is is carrying bronzino, red porgy, meagre and other fish from Andromeda Group in Paiania, Greece.

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