Fish Distributors Watching Gulf Coast Disaster

Is Gulf Oil Spill Affecting the Local Fish Market?

By WEEK Reporter
By Denise Jackson

July 15, 2010 Updated May 3, 2010 at 9:18 PM CDT

Some of you might be wondering if the oil spill will impact Central Illinois' fish market
News 25's Denise Jackson spoke with one local distributor on how fish that are thousands of miles away end up on your dinner plate.

Dixon's Fisheries provides seafood to more than a hundred restaurants, and retailers throughout Central Illinois and neighboring states. Co-owner Jim Dixon says about 80-percent of his seafood is imported from around the world and only 20 percent comes from the Mid Gulf Region which includes Central America.

"If it spreads it will cause serious harm to the Louisiana area. There are backwaters, estuaries which are breeding ground for blue crab and young fish including shrimp. If they cannot move out to the ocean or they are killed it will be devastating on future breeding," Dixon said.

Dixon says some distributors are panicking and trying to order extra inventory. He says shrimp prices have jumped 30 to 40 cent in the past few days.
Just down the street at Jonah's Seafood House, Manager Todd Waldschmidt says prices could also go up on other inventories like crawfish, snapper or grouper which are shipped from the gulf area.

""The area has taken a beating, seafood wise, with Katrina and that so they've slowed down their outsourcing to places like Astoria, New York, they take care of the local market first," Waldschmidt said.

Right now Dixon's says it's shrimp inventories are in pretty good shape, but the distributor and some of its clients are waiting to see how long it will take before the gulf oil leak is contained.

They say with worldwide markets....distributors should be able to find inventories of shrimp and other gulf coast seafood from suppliers in other locations.

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