Theses and Dissertations

Title: The Economic Significance of Aquatic Biotechnology in the Production of Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) Female X Blue Catfish (I. furcatus) Male Hybrid (CB Hybrid) Embryos

Name: Umali, Gloria

Degree: PhD

Chair: Rex Dunham

Resides: FAA Library

University: Auburn

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Date: 2007

Pages: 234

Keywords: Costs, economic benefit, catfish hybrid, fry production


The current cost of commercially producing CB hybrid catfish fry is 325% higher than that of channel catfish due to the CB hybrid’s high production costs and low hatch rates. However, CB hybrid catfish fingerlings cost 7% less to grow than channel catfish fingerlings, and net returns above variable costs are two-and-a-half times as much, because of the CB hybrid’s faster growth and higher feed efficiency. Sensitivity analysis showed that income for channel catfish is most sensitive to survival rate while that for the CB hybrid catfish is to hatch rate. The second most significant factor for both in determining income is fingerling selling price. The economic importance of ovulating agents, fungal control, and genetic improvement in CB hybrid fry production was evaluated. The CB hybrid’s costs of fry and fingerling production, and income from fingerling production were compared to those of channel catfish production. The CB hybrid’s economic performance improved with use of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue (LHRHa), the most promising hormone for hand stripped hybrid catfish embryo production, and use of select channel catfish female, broodstock that have been selected for enhanced reproductive performance. Use of LHRHa, and select channel catfish females showed marked improvements in spawning performance of the channel catfish female and moderate increases in hatch rate, in the production of CB hybrid catfish fry, but cost of fry production continued to be higher than that of the channel catfish production. Combining LHRHa with formalin and copper sulfate (F+CS) (alternating) showed remarkable improvements both in spawning performance and hatch rate of the CB hybrid’s female channel catfish, resulting in CB hybrid’s cost of fry production to be lower than that of channel catfish production. Cost of growing fry to fingerling, and income from CB hybrid catfish fingerlings were consistently superior in these comparisons. An archetype CB hybrid production model that combines all the best parameters from recommended protocols was simulated and compared to channel catfish production. The archetype CB hybrid production was superior to channel catfish production in all physical and economic comparisons, including fry production per kilogram of female channel catfish body weight and fry production cost. Improvement in reproductive performance shifted the CB hybrid’s sensitivity to risk from biological factors, hatching rate in particular, to risk associated with market conditions, specifically output selling price.

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