WASHINGTON — Louisiana's congressional delegation is asking Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to include the crawfish industry in the CARES Act.
By including the crawfish industry in that act, Louisiana crawfish farmers would receive a share of the $9.5 billion in assistance the proposed law would grant. According to members of the delegation, the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have caused crawfish prices to fall by more than $1 per pound.
According to the Louisiana Farm Bureau, Rep. Ralph Lee Abraham (R-Alto) and Rep. Clay Higgins (R-Lafayette) are leading the charge to add crawfish farmers to the bill. Louisiana's six other congressmen signed a letter dated April 8 to Perdue urging his action.
"The U.S. crawfish industry is largely seasonal and relies heavily on direct-to-consumer markets, such as restaurants, large social gatherings, caterers, festivals, and farmers markets," the letter reads. "Government orders to close restaurants to dine-in customers and CDC limitations on social gatherings have directly impacted this industry.
"Taken together, this amounts to a roughly 60 percent loss in market value during the peak of crawfish season," the letter added.