USDA seeking to buy more than 800,000 pounds of catfish

Workers at Harvest Select pulling catfish out of a pond with a net.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to purchase more than 800,000 pounds of catfish products, according to a new solicitation.

The department is planning to buy 342,000 pounds of unbreaded, raw catfish fillets and 462,000 pounds of oven-ready, breaded catfish strips for domestic food distribution programs.

Bids are due on 11 December, and the USDA will announce awards by 18 December. The catfish products will need to be delivered to locations in the U.S. states of Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas between 1 February and 30 June.

The solicitation is just one in a series of catfish solicitations the USDA has issued since committing to purchase up to USD 42 million (EUR 38 million) in surplus catfish products in January 2023.

In May, the USDA sought bids for 470,000 pounds of catfish, and last month, the department issued a solicitation for nearly 6 million pounds of catfish. Then earlier this month, the USDA put out a solicitation seeking bids for 154,000 pounds of catfish products and 815,600 pounds of pollock products.

The USDA has also made several massive purchases of salmon and pollock products in 2023. The department purchased USD 118 million (EUR 109 million) worth of Atlantic pollock fillets, haddock fillets, rockfish fillets, Pacific shrimp, Pacific whiting fillets, wild salmon fillets, and canned salmon.

The purchases in 2023 continue the USDA's trend of purchasing large amounts of domestically produced seafood. in December 2022, the USDA bought 108,000 pounds of walleye fillets from Redby, Minnesota, U.S.A.-based Red Lake Nation Fisheries for USD 1.3 million (EUR 1.2 million). Deliveries were to have taken place between January and April 2023. Red Lake Nation Fisheries has won all four walleye contracts USDA has issued since December 2020. 

USDA also purchased USD 62 million (the EUR 55 million) worth of pollock and salmon in early 2022. 

Photo courtesy of Harvest Select Catfish


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