Today, Reps. Michael Guest (MS-03) and Rick Crawford (AR-01) introduced H.R. 2548 – The Cormorant Relief Act, companion legislation to S. 1050, which would increase flexibility for controlling double-crested cormorants by catfish farmers and other aquaculture producers. By allowing further taking of these predatory birds, producers in Mississippi, Arkansas, and other states would not be punished for efficient aquaculture production, which has been shown to attract more cormorants.
A study found that the negative economic impact of cormorant populations on the catfish industry in the Mississippi Delta Region was between $38,628,411 and $98,030,457.
“Catfish farmers and aquaculture producers must fight a range of threatening conditions to ensure productive harvests and profitable margins. Congress should look for ways to encourage productivity and take additional burdens off the backs of farmers. Increasing the limits on addressing predatory double-crested cormorants is just one of the many ways we must continue to support our agriculture community,” Guest said.
“Our aquaculture producers have a partnership with mother nature, which often leads to many unforeseen risks like predators. Despite these challenges, they still continue to work to provide safe and nutritious food for millions of Americans. We owe it to our farmers to remove burdensome regulations that prevent them from protecting their products and their livelihood,” Crawford said.
H.R. 2548 is companion legislation to the Cormorant Relief Act (S.1050), introduced earlier this Congress by Senators Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).