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Beaufort County Farmer Producing Faster-Growing Fish On Farm

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BEAUFORT COUNTY, N.C. — There is some new and better farm stock in the state, but it is not cows, pigs or even sheep.

Neil Bowen has successfully bred and hatched a unique kind of catfish on his Beaufort County farm. His fish grow to market size about 8 percent faster than standard farm-raised fish.

They are then trucked to other farms where they will be grown to market size in just under a year.

"Roughly, we hope that we will have about a million and a half this year. That's pretty good for our little, tiny hatchery and maybe, we can double or triple it by next year," Bowen said.

The new line of faster-growing fish is one more bright spot for a very bright industry.

"We are seeing a tremendous growth in the industry in eastern North Carolina ... It's somewhere about 30 percent growth over last year, so the increase in acreage and production is definitely at hand," extension aquaculture agent Mike Frinsko said.

Because of the state's natural resources and proximity to major metropolitan markets, eastern North Carolina is seen as one of the brightest areas of the nation for aquaculture.


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