Seafood industry suffering a slow down due to Gulf crisis

Posted by: Mario Hendricks - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)_- The Coastal Crisis is prompting at least one major restaurant chain to pull oysters from its menu. So, what does this mean for seafood lovers?

As the crude continues to cause chaos on the coast, the shortening supply of seafood spells trouble.

Restaurant chain Red Lobster announced that it will pull oysters from their menu.  At the same time, some oyster processing plants in Lousiana are shutting down.

"We really appreciate the workforce. We have a hard working, dedicated group here, and we want to see you back," said John Tesvich, President of Ameri-Pure Oysters, to his employees.

In Montgomery, eateries are still going strong though the price of these edible icons are growing.

"The oyster house will take what they call 'selects' and shuck them, and that's what we buy for our frying oysters, and they have almost doubled," stated Lewis Mashburn, owner of Capitol Oyster Bar.

Mr. Mashburn just received a fresh shipment of oysters from the Gulf but he says keeping the supply going is a day to day endeavor.

"My name's The Capitol Oyster Bar. I might have to change to the 'chicken shack' if I quit selling oysters," added Mashburn.

Luckily for customers the food keeps coming.

"I don't make a lot of money as a living, but when I sit down to eat seafood, I don't care if the dinner costs 100 dollars a pop. When I get ready to sit down and eat seafood, I'm going to eat it," stated seafood lover Johnny Henderson.

Meanwhile, owners try to shuck the severity of the moment and hope the oil stops before business does.

"When you walk out there and you see that pretty blue-green Gulf, and it's black, then there won't be any seafood, said Mashburn.

Restaurant owners are quick to point out that they do have options. If supplies on the Gulf dry up, they can turn to cold water oysters but they say the taste just isn't the same.

In the meantime, restaurateurs are hoping someone stops the leak so that the seafood industry will be able to rebound.

Montgomery's Red Lobster tells us the location is not affected because they already don't serve oysters.

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