Katrina Wreaking Havoc on Gulf Seafood Industry

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At the Spears Seafood Market, customers are shelling out an extra three dollars a bushel for oysters. They've gone from 26 bucks a bushel to 29. The 12 percent jump is a side effect of Hurricane Katrina.

Herman Spicerprescott from the market says, “We had customers, you know, just last week we explain we pay more. It's kind of trickle down, they have to pay more also.”

The price of oysters has jumped dramatically because Louisiana produces 40 percent of the nation’s supply, and Katrina has virtually wiped out the Louisiana market.

Now Florida oysters are in demand and prices are expected to rise in restaurants as well.

If you’re a shrimp lover, there's more bad news. If gas prices remain high, the price of shrimp is expected to rise. Those in the shrimp business say the high price of diesel is killing the industry.

Bob Jones, the president of Southeastern Fisheries Association, says, “It needs to go up at least 50 cents to $1.00 a pound in order to keep the boats able to work under the current fuel prices. Fuel is the elephant in the room. If it doesn't go down, there'll be no fishing."

Ninety percent of the shrimp consumed in the United States is imported, most of it from China, so prices are expected to rise, but perhaps not enough to save the state’s shrimpers who say it costs a gallon of fuel to catch a pound of shrimp.