Oil spill creates major concern for LA seafood industry

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Oil coming from the drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico could impact the Louisiana coastline and threaten the production of the state's seafood industry.

Restaurants in the lake area get much of their seafood from the Venice and Houma area.

Now many local seafood restaurants are having to order more seafood at a time in case if a shortage arises from the spill.

Steamboat Bills owner Kathi Vidrine said she ordered at least two months worth of shrimp when she found out about the oil spill.

"I think the whole oil explosion has the potential to affect us in the worst case scenario," said Vidrine. "It's going to devastate the whole state as far as the shrimping goes. That's why we need to get it cleaned up and get it contained as soon as possible."

If the spill is not cleaned up soon, restaurants will have to order their shrimp from other states to avoid a shortage.

Vidrine said that she is thankful that shrimp season began early this year.

"That's going to help us harvest as much as can now before the oil gets on shore," said Vidrine.

But even if there is a shortage, Vidrine said the price consumers pay at the restaurant will not go up.

"They won't be able to price gauge so prices will remain stable," said Vidrine.

Now all lake area restaurants can do is stay prepared with enough seafood supply to avoid a shortage.

"We have good leadership in this state," said Vidrine. "Hopefully it won't impact us as bad as what they are saying."

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing board said they want to assure Louisiana seafood lovers that fisherman are working to help protect the coastline to keep seafood production up for the industry.

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