"Seafood is not only a delicacy Louisiana is known for, but also a significant economic driver for the state and a way of life for thousands of Louisianans that must be protected."
Louisiana is rich in history and tradition, and made up of working class people that truly embody that heritage and culture. Nowhere is this more prominent than in Louisiana’s seafood industry. When people think of Louisiana, they think of great music, great people, and great seafood.
That is why we must ensure this critical industry is positioned to endure and thrive. Market sensitivity and environmental and trade policies greatly affect seafood jobs. Although the free market allows for foreign competition, seafood jobs in Louisiana are jeopardized by foreign competitors that play by different rules.
Illegal seafood dumping is a serious issue in every Gulf Coast state. Seafood is one of the most sensitive food imports to trade and safety violations. Illegally subsidized imports can displace our domestic catch and hurt Louisiana fishermen with low prices. Fishermen deserve a fair playing field and ensuring that imports comply with the same safety standards as our domestic industry must be a priority.
Further, it is imperative that we make sure our producers and processors have access to a ready and willing workforce. That is why I am supportive of improving the H-2B Temporary Seasonal Worker Program. This program is vital to the success of Louisiana’s seafood industry, and in its current form is failing to provide the necessary workers needed for our industry to grow.
Finally, we must also ensure that any environmental policy issued by the federal government does not overly and unnecessarily harm our economy. All too often Washington bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgate ideologically-based regulations that are inconsiderate of real-world ramifications on important industries like seafood producers and processors.
More on Seafood
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase up to $25 million of Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Wild-Caught Shrimp to address food system supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
USDA will purchase these products via the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Orders should be received during the first week of June with solicitations being issued mid-June and awards occurring near the end of the month.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) has introduced H.R. 8146, the Imported Seafood Testing Act, which would increase inspections on imported seafood and levy strict penalties against foreign actors found in violation of U.S. seafood import laws.
Along with agriculture and oil and gas, the seafood industry is an important economic driver for south Louisiana.
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, whose 3rd Congressional District covers St. Mary and St. Martin parishes and extends to the Texas border said he does not want to see producers in such an important industry for the state working at a disadvantage, something he said has been happening because of the amount of foreign seafood coming into this country that is not held to the same standards.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) has introduced H.R. 6212, the Imported Seafood Safety Standards Act of 2018, which protects American consumers and small businesses from foreign seafood dumping.
The bill prohibits the import of foreign seafood that fails to meet U.S. standards for seafood manufacturing, processing, and holding. It also establishes a program for foreign seafood inspection and imposes real penalties for importers and countries that routinely violate U.S. laws.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) recently authored a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and U.S. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), urging full funding for the Freshwater Bayou Lock, which is located in Vermilion Parish.
A Louisiana congressman is calling on his state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to establish a “bounty” program for Asian carp, an invasive species fish he said threatens the state’s fishing industry.
Rep. Clay Higgins likened the proposed program to one already in place for nutria. That program to curb the presence of the rodent has seen destruction of vegetation decrease by more than 90 percent over a 15-year period.
Louisiana senators and representatives have introduced companion legislation in Congress that would give states management authority of red snapper out to 25 miles or 25 fathoms, whichever is greater, off their coastlines. Currently, states control red snapper out to nine nautical miles.