Oil spill affecting seafood sales in Lake Charles

By Jason Belk - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - With the explosion of the oil rig in the Gulf Coast, many have become concerned with how it will affect the seafood industry here in Louisiana.

Jack Garrison, like so many in Louisiana, considers himself a seafood lover.

But the oil spill has left him very concerned for the Louisiana seafood industry.

"It's a great concern for the citizens here in Calcasieu Parish, I'm sure I'm not the only one, but it's a great concern," said Garrison.

Garrison found himself at JT's Seafood this morning stocking up, something owner Brad Soileau has noticed a growing number of his customers doing.

"This past weekend we sold a lot of 50 pound orders, a lot of cases of shrimp to people," said Soileau, "It was kind of like after Hurricane Rita, when everybody lost their freezers and they wanted to replenish their freezers. This is kind of like what's happening right now because you just don't know what the outcome is going to be."

The biggest concern facing JT's right now is an increase on the price of the seafood they are bringing in.

"What we're going to try to do is try to stay the same with out prices, but we saw about a 40 to 75 percent increase across the board with all the shrimp prices," says Soileau.

The increasing prices are leaving Brad and many others involved growing with concern.

"As far as we're concerned we're going to keep our prices the same, because if we go up and we don't sell shrimp, we're out of business. That's basically the bottom line," said Soileau.

Even with the future of the Gulf Coast seafood industry temporarily in question.

Customers like Jack Garrison say they will continue to do what they can to support places like JT's

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