USDA buying $30 million in shrimp to aid Gulf Coast seafood industry
BATON ROUGE - The United States Department of Agriculture says it will purchase $30 million worth of shrimp from Gulf Coast fishermen in an effort to help stabilize the region's seafood industry.
The announcement comes after Louisiana officials called for federal assistance over fears that the price of seafood could collapse due to an excess in product during the pandemic.
“This is a step in the right direction for helping the seafood industry and Louisiana shrimpers in particular. This will help keep our shrimpers in their boats and in business. However, we still have work to do to get our entire seafood industry the assistance it deserves,” Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said.
As the second largest supplier in the nation, Louisiana's economy depends on the distribution of seafood. According to the lieutenant governor's office, Louisiana produces over $2.4 billion in seafood and one in every 70 jobs in the state is linked to the seafood industry.
About $14 million in funding was given to Louisiana fisherman and others involved in the seafood industry back in March as part of the CARES Act, but more funding is necessary to save small businesses in the industry.
So far, the USDA has made two major purchases of seafood from Louisiana in an effort to support the Gulf Coast economy.
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