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Seafood Prices Bound To Spike Due To Oil Spill

June 24, 2010

Pittsburgh's Strip District is one of the most popular areas in town to buy fresh fish and seafood. It is also an area that will inevitably be affected by the aftermath of the oil spill in the Gulf region.

VIDEO: SEAFOOD PRICES HEADING UP

Fresh fish continue to pour into local seafood markets from around the world. They're mostly unaffected by the oil spill, but the same case cannot be made for shrimp.

Chef Sean Davies at The Original Fish Market says sometime this year, shrimp prices will spike up to $4 per pound because the oil spill will shut off supply.

"As that dwindles down and people consume all the shrimp, it's not going to be replenished because there's no fishing going on now for shrimp," Davies said.

Fish sales have yet to be affected by the BP oil spill, but it could become a future problem for local markets who buy from the gulf region More

Henry Dewey, the owner of the Penn Avenue Fish Company, says shrimp prices are rising already. Their shrimp come from Bayou La Batre, Ala.

"That's like in the center of where that whole thing is taking place," Dewey said. "But even before the oil spill, we never really got a whole lot of stuff from that particular area.

"And like Dewey, many Pittsburgh restaurants go about getting their catch the same way. Although Red Lobster's headquarters says oysters are no longer on their menu, the McKnight Road restaurant is among a few that don't get fish from the Gulf.

Places like Point Brugge Cafe in Point Breeze and other restaurants get fish from the Pacific, Alaska, the Atlantic and other places around the world. But as the oil travels east, It threatens the fish supply along the Florida coast, where Wholey's does business.

"It could, definitely," Dan Wholey of Wholey's Fish Market says of the imminent threat to fish sales. "Like snapper, grouper, crawfish. Louisiana has a problem. Alabama has a problem. Florida's going to have a problem."

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