On May 9, 2000 Kim Jong Il visited a newly built catfish farm. Quite different from common fish ponds, the catfish farm was furnished with modern facilities for mass-producing tens of thousands of catfish in cylindrical ponds to put production on an industrial and intensive basis.
The General praised that the farm was built superbly as befits a structure in the era of the Workers’ Party and, if the roofing was completed and the surrounding area laid out well, the farm would look better than a guesthouse.
Then he said, “The room for artificial incubation has been furnished well. It resembles a smart scientific research base.”
An official told him that at the farm no more than 15 women were producing hundreds of tons of catfish a year.
The General spoke highly of their strenuous efforts.
The ponds for fattening were teeming with stout catfish. It was quite a thrilling sight.
He said joyfully. “Indeed, it is half water and half fish.”
Officials were more than excited as this phrase illustrated the high productivity of catfish.
Noting that the ponds for fattening were cylindrical and it was the key to intensive farming of catfish, the General said: Catfish farming is a highly productive and lucrative business, since they grow quickly and consume comparatively little feed, and they can be bred intensively. Moreover, they are delicious, nutritious and have medicinal efficacy.
He went on to underline the need to breed catfish extensively in hot springs.
Half water and half fish, intensive farming of catfish!
Since then this phrase has been known as emblematic of the standard of the country’s fish farming set by the General.