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Catfish supplies limited, more expensive amid the pandemic

July 16, 2021 GMT

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Many restaurants in the South that serve catfish are having to pay distributors more to keep it on the menu — or go without it, seafood experts say.

The primary reason is labor shortages at processing plants, according to the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Processing is down 9% for the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, WJTV-TV reported.

The slow recovery in the industry’s processing phase is due to several factors related to the pandemic, said MSU economist Ganesh Kumar. Those include limits on how many people can work during the same shift while maintaining social distancing.