National Catfish Day on June 25 brings a host of amazing facts and benefits related to the aquatic animal. Catfish gets its name from the long barbels that hang on either side of its mouth, much like the whiskers of a cat. While many people are not a big fan of consuming fish in general because of the fishy smell and taste, many others enjoy it, either cooked or raw. Catfish is one of the highest consumed fish species in America. You can have it breaded and fried, or grilled over coals and served with tangy fruity salsa. Apart from its great taste, catfish farming has also led to a stable income for many fish farmers as well as provided for a sustainable and environmentally friendly source of food.
History of National Catfish Day
The first National Catfish Day was celebrated in 1987 after President Ronald Reagan’s proclamation in his speech. It’s true that ‘catfish’ is a strange subject to be included in a presidential speech, but one must acknowledge the reasoning behind it. During the 1980s, catfish production was growing in the United States. The food was becoming popular, and so was the stability of the income source that catfish farming was allowing fish farmers. Congressman Mike Espy realized the potential the growing industry had. With the help of other congressmen, he strived to introduce the fish as part of the military meal given to soldiers at luncheons. Further push in favor of the industry also led to Espy submitting the National Catfish Day commemorative bill. His efforts also boosted his popularity during elections, further increasing the growing demand for catfish all over America.
Catfish belong to the ray-finned fish family. This species is usually a bottom feeder, which means it will feed on the bottom of a water body, although it can still be trained to become a surface feeder. Their reduced gas bladder and a rather heavy- and bony head help them to sink easily. Catfish come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most will have a cylindrical body. Because of the ease involved in breeding them, catfish farms take up one-third of all finned fish in America. Channel catfish and blue catfish are the most sold species. Catfish have a variety of health benefits including high vitamin D. It pairs well with cajun spices, but at the same time, a little lemon and butter help in developing and bringing out the scrumptiousness of the fish. You can also enjoy it in sandwiches and in baked pasta dishes.
National Catfish Day timeline
The heaviest catfish is caught in the Santee Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina and it weighs 58 pounds.
Catfish farming increases by a whopping 1200% in 10 years.
President Ronald Regan announces the first National Catfish Day to be celebrated on June 25.
India bans catfish farming in certain areas of the country after the species is found to be a danger to indigenous animals.
National Catfish Day FAQs
Is catfish a healthy food?
Catfish is a great health food because it’s low in calories and rich in omega-3. It is also packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and lean protein,
Why is catfish dangerous?
The majority of catfish aren’t dangerous, although they belong to the predator group. They feed on both dead and living animal matter. This fish species can survive in shallow mud and has a high tolerance for poorly oxygenated waters.
Can I eat catfish every day?
According to the FDA, you can eat catfish two to three times per week. The value can also be converted to eight to twelve ounces per week.
How To Celebrate National Catfish Day
Commemorate the day by eating catfish for one or more of your meals throughout the day. You can have it grilled, baked, or fried, or you can have it in a salad or a sandwich. Either way, the catfish is going to taste great.
Try a new catfish dish
That which is old and familiar is comfortable, no doubt. But the new brings with it a sense of adventure and new facets. This is your chance to take up the opportunity to try a new catfish dish to excite your taste buds.
Visit a catfish farm
Visit a catfish farm to get in on the action. Learn all about the life cycle and habits of these aquatic creatures from the experts.
5 Facts About Fish That Will Blow Your Mind
Fish are social animals
Fish are extremely social as they form relationships with other fish, benefitting from them for food sources.
Fish have great memories
Contrary to popular belief, many fish have great memories because they remember the humans who gave them food or the animals who helped them find food.
An abundant aquatic species
There are about 30,000 species of fish that have been identified, but scientists reckon that more types of fish are yet to be discovered.
Fish can talk to each other
Using acoustic sounds underwater, fish belonging to the same species can communicate with each other about eating and mating habits.
Fish have thousands of taste buds
Fish have around 27,000 taste buds all over their body and this means that they can taste even without opening their mouths.
Why We Love National Catfish Day
It’s a celebration of catfish
The catfish is one of the most consumed fish in the history of America. In many ways, catfish food items have become part of the traditional American spread that can be found on school menus, military luncheons, and restaurant favorites.
It’s a celebration of history
You can learn a lot about the history and culture of a country by looking at its food items, and catfish consumption in the U.S. is no different. Catfish brought in revolutions in the fish farming world by stabilizing the country’s economy. It also played a huge role in Mike Epsy’s monumental congress bill and his election win.
It’s a celebration of taste
The catfish is quite versatile when it comes to serving it as a dish. You can have it in a variety of ways, be it in salads or burgers. Because of the inherent health benefits of the catfish, you can have it even when you are dieting.
National Catfish Day dates