Today, Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be purchasing up to $25 million in wild-caught shrimp from the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. When completed, this will mark the third straight year in which the USDA has made significant purchases of domestic shrimp.
This determination to buy domestic shrimp comes in response to a June 17, 2022 letter to the USDA from Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA) and Jerry L. Carl (R-AL) requesting that the agency continue to purchase wild-caught shrimp pursuant to the agency’s “Section 32” procurement program in fiscal year 2022. Reps. Graves and Carl observed that the USDA purchased over 9 million pounds of shrimp under this authority in 2020 and 2021 and noted that the USDA’s program was of an even greater importance to the shrimp industry now because of the incredible challenges currently confronting the commercial fishery.
In announcing the USDA’s commitment to make purchases of domestic shrimp, Rep. Graves explained:
“We not giving up on Louisiana’s seafood industry – the largest supplier in the country and the economic engine of many areas along our coast. We are working from every angle to bring them more relief while also working to reform the ridiculous fisheries disaster process. This shrimp purchase will also give schools, food banks and disaster-stricken areas access to another sustainable and nutritious source of protein. This is a big win for south Louisiana communities.”
In September 2020, the USDA’s Commodity Procurement Program purchased $25,140,000 in wild-caught domestic shrimp and followed that up with a purchase of $24,777,000 in wild-caught domestic shrimp in September 2021. A formal bid invitation for the purchases announced by Rep. Graves today has not yet been released by the agency.
“Everyone dependent upon this commercial fishery is grateful for the unwavering efforts of Rep. Garret Graves and Rep. Jerry L. Carl to obtain significant, meaningful relief for the domestic shrimp industry,” said John Williams, the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance. “Shrimpers from Texas to North Carolina are confronting unprecedented challenges this year, from natural disasters to a deluge of cheap imports to high fuel costs to inflation everywhere but in the price of our catch. We are fortunate both to have fishermen that continue to fight for the future of our industry and representatives that have been willing to listen and take action.”
Read the Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) October 27, 2022 press release here: https://garretgraves.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/usda-purchase-25-million-worth-gulf-shrimp-graves-pushed-deal-provide
Review details of the USDA’s prior purchases of wild-caught domestic shrimp here: https://www.ams.usda.gov/open-purchase-request?field_term_grades_and_standards_target_id=865
Read the Southern Shrimp Alliance’s June 28, 2022 News Alert regarding USDA purchase requests here: https://shrimpalliance.com/southern-shrimp-alliance-sends-letter-to-president-in-support-of-reps-graves-and-carls-request-to-usda-for-additional-section-32-purchases-of-shrimp/