Bayou Seafood OK For Now

Today IN spoke with Cliff Hall, one of the owners of the New Orleans Fish House Inc., which distributes locally to seafood restaurants.

Hall says that despite fishing closures in his area and across the western Gulf of Mexico due to the BP oil spill, they have not had any shortages of seafood products.

“We’re still getting product…this is not a good thing, but I do have to say we have a product. I’ve got over 6,000 oysters in the building right now.”

Hall confirms that oysters and shrimp have been affected the most so far, increasing in price by roughly 20 percent.

Fish House Inc. distributes locally to Yamatos Japanese, The Pensacola Country Club, Horizen Sushi, Apple Market, Cocodries and Portofinio Island Resort.

A representative from Portofino tells IN that they have seen an increase in seafood prices but because they get a majority of their fish from local boats, they haven’t seen a substantial increase in costs.

Hall blames much of the price increase on BP’s clean up efforts—contracting many of the large netting vessels in the region to help lay oil boom in coastal waters.

“It’s almost like a catch 22,” he says. “It almost appears that the shrimp aren’t there, but we have the product and plenty of oysters. We just need the consumer to come eat it.

“While we have it, we are going to continue to serve it.”