WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) sent a letter to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting relief for Louisiana’s crawfish industry as a result of the severe drought in 2023 and recent freeze that has devastated production.
“The 2023 drought has led to an alarming decrease in crawfish production across approximately 45,000 acres of ponds. This has been compounded by a recent freeze event, worsening challenges faced by our farmers. The Louisiana State University’s Agriculture Center estimated the potential losses to be nearly $140 million due to the combined drought and freeze. This figure represents a significant portion of the state’s $230 million crawfish industry, underscoring the severity of the situation,” writes Congressman Higgins.
The letter continues to emphasize the need for stronger import protections for crawfish, “Strict standards for these imports are essential to guarantee fair competition and safeguard consumer health, as they ensure that imported products meet the same safety and quality requirements as domestic products. Additionally, high standards for imports promote global adherence to best practices in aquaculture, benefiting producers and consumers by fostering a culture of excellence and safety in the industry.”
Congressman Higgins closes the letter by requesting robust measures to maintain the highest standards for all aquaculture products entering our country.
Read the letter here.
In 2021, Congressman Higgins successfully secured assistance for Louisiana’s crawfish industry through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) after the 2021 freeze. The implementation of this assistance took place in May 2021. Read the letter here.