Despite what you may have heard or read, the Gulf oil spill isn’t likely to cause a spike in seafood prices or a shortage of shrimp. The fact of the matter is that Louisiana produces only about 1 percent of the seafood that Americans consume.
That is not to suggest the potential job and income losses in the Gulf are insignificant, but it helps to put the issue in perspective.
USA Today explained why the oil spill is unlikely to affect the seafood sold in grocery stores:
“About 83% of the seafood consumed in the United States comes from overseas, says Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute, a seafood trade group.
“Louisiana does account for a big portion of the catch from the Gulf of Mexico — nearly 72%, Gibbons says, but the broad impact in seafood availability isn’t going to be significant. ‘You aren’t going to see shortages in your grocer’s freezer,’ he says.
“Even though Louisiana’s seafood contributions don’t represent ‘huge numbers in terms of impact in American consumption, they are iconic, and they support an industry and a community. You don’t have (New Orleans’ famed) Jazz Fest without oysters and shrimp,’ he says.
“The state’s main seafood products are shrimp, oysters, blue crabs and finfish.