The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this month it plans to purchase 207,000 cases of US wild shrimp valued at around $23.7 million (€22.5 million).

Louisiana-based Paul Piazza & Son won the largest amount of the contract at $10.6 million (€10.1 million) to provide the agency with 85,500 cases of product.

Louisiana-based Ocean Select Seafood, Louisiana-based Lafitte Frozen Foods, Mississippi-based Gulf Pride Enterprises and Mississippi-based Consolidated also won shares of the shrimp contract.

The shrimp will be used in the USDA's national school lunch program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs. Deliveries of the product will be made between Feb. 1 and March 31.

The amount of seafood purchased by the USDA has exploded over the past several years, making the government one of the largest purchasers of US fish and shellfish.

In October 2021, the USDA purchased around $25 million (€24 million) of South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico wild-caught shrimp.

According to USDA data obtained by IntraFish, the value of US seafood used in USDA contracts tripled from 2014 to 2021, when it totaled nearly $152 million (€140 million).