Lake area restaurants feeling the pinch of rising seafood costs

By Crystal Price - bio | email

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - It's been almost two months since the oil spill explosion in the Gulf, and seafood restaurants are seeing a spike in the price of domestic shrimp.

The price for frozen shrimp has increased almost 30 percent in recent months.

This spike in cost comes after almost one-third of federal waters in the Gulf have been closed out of fear of contaminated food.

Cajun Charlie's in Sulphur is feeling the pinch as the price they pay for shrimp has gone from $2.40 a pound to $3.50 a pound.

The owner, Clint Charlie, said the restaurant is completely out of oysters.

"Oysters filter in the water, and when they mix with oil then there's no way you can serve it," said Charlie.

Charlie also said crabs are not far behind oysters, as they are now selling for $3.45 a pound.

"If you buy something that high and attach it to the price to make a profit, it's almost impossible," said Charlie.

Now customers at Cajun Charlie's are starting to see the prices rise on their menu as well.

"I can't afford to keep paying more for the seafood without going up on the menu," said Charlie.

But customers said they are willing to pay the higher price, as this is their chance to enjoy their Cajun favorites while they can.

"I like oysters and I like shrimp, without them there wouldn't be any seafood," said Harry Shaws, a frequent seafood customer of Cajun Charlie's. "It just wouldn't be the same."

Seafood restaurant owners like Clint Charlie are only hoping the seafood industry can sustain the oil scare.

"I think it's going to be a long term deal, because this oil is still flowing through," said Charlie. "I just hope we can hear some good news soon though."

To stay up to date on the current market price of seafood worldwide, click on the "Seafood Information" link to the right.

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