All along the Gulf, shrimp boats still sit at the dock, unused. Even with prices lower than they’ve been in years, people aren’t buying. For the fishermen, wholesalers, distributors who depend on Gulf seafood to make a living—the living is uneasy.
As Phil Keating writes in his blog for Fox News, the problem isn’t the availability of local product. The stumbling block to better times is public perception. Even though no oil has spilled into the Gulf in two months, people aren’t buying. Retired Admiral Thad Allen, the federal government’s point man on the BP spill, says Gulf seafood is likely the most tested seafood in the world right now. Numerous marine scientists have declared the seafood to be safe and delicious. Still, consumers are skeptical.
After months of media coverage of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, seafood lovers are just not ready to start eating shrimp and other seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico.
Quoted in Keating’s blog, Frank Patti of Pensacola’s, Florida’s famous Joe Patti Seafood, said, “Our sales are down 52% from what they were at this point last year.” Patti lets everyone know exactly where his seafood is coming from. He puts signs above the fish at his wholesale business listing exactly where his shrimp, oyster, scallops come from, because buyers want to know.
Patti hopes for better times down the road, as the nation’s memory of the catastrophic spill begins to recede. As he says in Keating’s article, “Memory is the worst thing right now. I think it’ll come back. Will they do it this year? No. Hopefully next year it will.”
The Food Channel is bringing you recaps of some of the best stories from around the Web that will help us all learn more about the true situation in the Gulf. Stay with us as the story unfolds and let’s see what the future of food may look like in the wake of crisis.