USDA asking for bids on major wild-caught shrimp purchase

A shrimp boat in Louisiana

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking U.S. shrimp suppliers to submit bids on 388,500 cases of shrimp by 29 January.

The winning suppliers will be required to deliver the frozen peeled and deveined shrimp between 16 March and 30 June.

U.S. Representative Garret Graves (R-Louisiana) announced the purchase in December, noting the federal government would purchase around USD 36 million (EUR 33 million) of wild shrimp from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic.

The purchase will alleviate pressure felt by Louisianas shrimp industry caused by natural disasters, higher fuel prices, labor and supply chain issues, and the effects of foreign governments flooding the market with illegally caught, foreign, farmed seafood,” Graves’s office said.

The wild-caught shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico has faced multiple challenging years, with NOAA declaring a fishery disaster in Louisiana and Mississippi in June 2023 for multiple environmental disasters that rocked the sector stemming as far back as 2020. In addition to natural disasters, the price of shrimp globally continues to sit at near historic lows for both imported and domestic shrimp, according to NOAA data.

The seafood industry is one of Louisianas biggest economic drivers, but our shrimpers have been repeatedly hit by both man-made and natural disasters," Graves said. "We are pushing for legislation at every angle to bring them more relief, and this commitment from the USDA will make a meaningful impact on these businesses in our south Louisiana communities and stomachs across America.”

The USDA has made big wild shrimp buys in the past. In December 2022, it asked suppliers to bid on supplying 207,000 cases of wild U.S. shrimp, and in September 2020, the USDA bought around USD 25.1 million (EUR 23 million) worth of domestic wild-caught shrimp, followed by a purchase of USD 24.8 million (EUR 23 million) in September 2021. 

Photo courtesy of Willam A. Morgan/Shutterstock


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