Congressmen Weber and Cloud Call on Farm Service Agency to Help Redfish Industry
Washington, D.C. – Friday, March 12, 2021, U.S. Representatives Randy Weber (TX-14 and Michael Cloud (TX-27) sent a letter to Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Deputy Administrator Bradley Karmen regarding the damage inflicted to redfish farms in Texas a result of the recent unprecedented winter storm. Several major redfish farms in Texas lost almost all their fish inventory, and the Members of Congress wrote to FSA asking that the agency consider making these redfish farms eligible for payments from the Emergency Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Assistance Program.
From the letter: "These redfish farms in Texas produce over 95% of domestic farm-raised redfish. Early estimates predict that the total loss will reach 10 million pounds of fish valued at $50 million. A loss of this magnitude will not only drastically reduce revenue for this season, but it will also leave these farmers with no revenue until they have marketable fish again. For context, it normally takes two years for these farmers to replenish their inventory and have marketable fish. Data is still being collected related to this loss, but it is expected to have a devastating effect on feed suppliers and wholesale buyers."
“The severe nature of the recent winter storm in Texas caused a catastrophic loss in the redfish supply chain,” said Congressman Cloud. “Congressman Weber and I would like redfish farmers to have access to valuable federal assistance. In the 27th Congressional District of Texas in particular, the redfish industry has thrived. In order to rebound from recent setbacks, the industry needs immediate relief.”
“The aquatic industry is integral to the Texas Gulf Coast and its economy," said Congressman Weber. "I thank Congressman Cloud and our fellow Texans for partnering with us to make sure that these industries get the assistance they need to quickly recover from the devastating freeze.”
The letter is also signed by Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, as well as Texas Representatives Brian Babin (TX-37), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Kevin Brady (TX-08), Dan Crenshaw (TX-02), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Troy Nehls (TX-22), Lance Gooden (TX-05), Pete Sessions (TX-17), and Van Taylor (TX-03).