WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Kennedy, R-La., Katie Britt, R-Ala., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Braun, R-Ind., John Boozman, R-Ark., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., introduced a Senate resolution to designate August 2023 as National Catfish Month.
The resolution recognizes the importance of U.S. catfish to our economy and praises catfish farmers and workers for their contributions to the industry.
“Mississippi is recognized across the country for our farm-raised catfish production, which helps provide American families with a fresh, local, and delicious source of fish,” Wicker said. “Designating the month of August as National Catfish Month would recognize catfish producers for their work to support this industry that contributes almost $2 billion to our national economy.”
“The catfish industry contributes nearly $2 billion of dollars to our economy and employs thousands of people across the country,” Tillis said. “North Carolina is one of a few states home to farm raised catfish, and I am proud to work with my colleagues to recognize August as National Catfish Month to honor all the workers that provide catfish for people across our country and the world.”
“Nearly 33% of all catfish produced in the United States comes from right here in sweet home Alabama. Catfish is a vital part of our state’s economy, and I will always support our hardworking farmers and processors. I’m proud to join my colleagues in bringing forward this resolution to recognize the catfish industry’s contributions to our state and country,” Britt said.
“There’s nothing better than eating a fully dressed fried catfish po’ boy with family and friends in the bayou,” Cassidy said. “We celebrate National Catfish Month in August to recognize everyone who makes it possible to enjoy those catfish dinners.”
“Arkansas, our nation’s birthplace of warm water aquaculture, remains a proud leader in the catfish industry,” Boozman said. “The research conducted in Arkansas continues to advance new and innovative strategies to support our producers nationwide. Our family-owned operations do a tremendous job raising catfish that consumers crave. I’m proud to join my colleagues to mark National Catfish Month and celebrate the entire industry.”
“Catfish represent another one of Mississippi’s iconic contributions to our American society. Catfish farmers in our state and across the South continue to prevail against stiff economic forces to ensure families across the country can enjoy delicious, safe and affordable farm-raised catfish,” Hyde-Smith said. “I’m happy to celebrate this industry during National Catfish Month.”
The full text of the resolution can be found 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 over 9,000 people and contributes almost $2,000,000,000 to the economy of the United States;
Whereas the United States has 55,855 surface water acres used for catfish production in 2023, and catfish growers in the United States had $447,039,000 in sales during 2022;
Whereas the average catfish farmer produces 6,800 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 food fish produced by 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 2023 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.