Senate Approves Resolution Recognizing an Industry that in Miss. Earned $232 Million in 2021, Employing Thousands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today applauded Senate passage of a resolution they sponsored to designate August 2022 as National Catfish Month.

The resolution (S.Res.746) recognizes the importance of U.S. catfish to our economy and praises catfish farmers and workers for their contributions to the industry.  The Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent Thursday evening.

“Catfish represents more than 50 percent of the United States aquaculture industry, and Mississippi is leading the charge,” Wicker said.  “Farm-raised catfish is sustainable and contributes billions of dollars to our economy.  Designating August as National Catfish Month gives us the opportunity to recognize the many producers who are a part of this important industry.”

“It’s a point of pride that Mississippi is the No. 1 catfish producing state in the nation, and I applaud the domestic industry for its role in providing safe, affordable, farm-raised catfish to consumers across the country,” Hyde-Smith said.

In Mississippi, catfish operations involved 33,900 acres of production with a $232 million production value in 2021, $8.0 million over the 2020 value of production.

U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also cosponsored the resolution.

Read the resolution here or below:

Whereas the Catfish Institute recognizes August to be National Catfish Month;

Whereas the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas recognize August to be National Catfish Month;

Whereas the States of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Tennessee embody the Channel Catfish as their State Fish;

Whereas the farm-raised catfish industry in the United States employs nearly 10,000 people and contributes more than $4,000,000,000 to the economy of the United States;

Whereas the United States has 67,640 surface water acres used for catfish production in 2022, and catfish growers in the United States had $421,161,000 in sales during 2021;

Whereas the average catfish farmer produces 5,000 pounds of catfish per acre;

Whereas 99 percent of all United States farm-raised catfish are grown in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas;

Whereas catfish is the largest farm-raised seafood product, by weight, in the United States, representing more than 50 percent of the United States aquaculture industry;

Whereas United States farm-raised catfish are consistently high quality and, unlike ocean-caught fish, are available all year long;

Whereas United States farm-raised catfish are a sustainable and environmentally friendly seafood product;

Whereas catfish is a lean fish and an excellent source of protein; and

Whereas catfish is a versatile fish in cuisine of the United States, with a myriad of regional and national recipes to be enjoyed by all people of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—
   (1) designates August 2022 as "National Catfish Month";
   (2) recognizes the contributions of all workers, past and present, that produce, process, and provide catfish for the people of the United States; and
   (3) recognizes that purchasing United States farm-raised catfish supports farmers, jobs, and the economy of the United States.