Friday, 28 January 2011

The Gulf Oil Spill to Increase Seafood Prices

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is predicted to have a dramatic effect on seafood prices throughout the United States for the remainder of this year. It is evident that the oil spill is devastatingly large, much more so that originally reported. It is clear that it will impact both the coast of Florida, as well as the entire Gulf of Mexico.
It's uncertain at this point how long lasting the effects will be on the water and the environment, but clearly it will be substantial. It will be very difficult for fisherman to approach the areas in question, and even if they do manage to find pockets of traditional fishing grounds without oil on top of the water, it is possible that the underlying vegetation and seabed could be affected throughout the entire region.
Initially, seafood that will be directly affected includes surface fish that feed near the top of the ocean. There are a number of species that fall into this category, probably the most popular being Tilapia and bone fish. However, all species including bottom feeding seafood will eventually come into contact with some form of the spill and will be negatively affected as a food source.
Even if certain areas of the Gulf of Mexico are not directly affected by the pollution, it is possible that government scientists will restrict the use of any seafood from this area for years to come. Carcinogens and various pathogens of related origin could prove harmful for even the smallest human consumption.
As a result, new sources of seafood will have to be found. This will not be cheap, and in some cases the available supply of certain species will be very difficult to acquire. The addition of higher shipping costs, as well as the increased market demand will certainly result in significantly higher seafood costs throughout North America in the months to come.
G Loghl is CEO and executive chef at Sault Ste Marie restaurants. He is also responsible for economic buying patterns for Wacky Wings and all seafood in the region.