Henry Gantz has resigned, effective immediately, as president of The Catfish Institute.

“The Catfish Institute Board wants to go in a different direction,” says Gantz. “I agree changes need to be made due to the direction that The Catfish Institute has recently taken, but that I feel it's better if I pursue other opportunities at this time. I thank the board members for their generosity.”

The Catfish Institute was founded in 1986 by a group of catfish farmers and feed manufacturers to raise consumer awareness of the positive qualities of U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.

Since its formation, annual live weight catfish sales have grown from 192 million pounds to more than 630 million pounds in 2002. Per capita consumption in the United States has grown from 0.6 pound per capita in 1990 to nearly 1.2 pounds per capita in 2001.

“Henry Gantz is a talented person who has served the industry well. We're sad to see him leave, but he wants to pursue other things. We know he'll do well wherever he goes,” says Harry Simmons of Yazoo City, Miss., who serves as chairman of The Catfish Institute's board of directors.

Gantz served as president of The Catfish Institute for nearly four years.

Prior to joining The Catfish Institute, Gantz was special projects manager for Farm Press publications. His previous employment history includes a stint as an account supervisor at a large public relations firm.