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Oyster/Seafood situation in New Orleans affected by oil spill?

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I will be heading to New Orleans in two weeks for a short weekend trip. Was looking forward to the seafood festival and trying some gulf oysters. Wondering what the situation is down there with the oil spill? I heard some places were getting oysters from Texas? Anyone down there have the scoop on whats been going on? So sad.

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  1. I have a friend that lives in Louisiana that told me that shrimp has gone up to $30/lb! I read some news that said a lot of oyster beds are closed as well as a precaution.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Captainspirou

      Correction - the shrimp were $5.25.

      1. re: Captainspirou

        Pretty sure I saw fresh Gulf shrimp at Rouses 4 days ago for about $6/lb. Not sure where the $30/lb was. A restaurant somewhere maybe?

        1. re: gastrotect

          Yeah $30/# is definitely a bogus number. Yesterday at Rouses they were $5.50.

          1. re: gastrotect

            Like I said the figure came from a friend in LA. It's also likely that my friend was feeding me BS. Which means he's now earned a place on my skepticism list.

        2. Whoa...take a deep breath. It's not nearly that bad. As of today, all seafoods are still available. Wholesale, I bought gorgeous 10/15 shrimp for $4.50. Even got some black drum today. Oysters still coming from the east side of the river, but up in price. Big oyster folks like P&J and Drago's are feeling the pinch and voicing concern, which should be noted, but much of their stock must come from the west side, much of which is closed. Softshells are plentiful, crabmeat is there, but slightly high in price. Come on and enjoy yourself. We certainly have much to worry about, but as of today, the product is there.

          1. Well, we still have seafood but the price does look to be drifting upwards. 6-9$ lb for shrimp. I haven't check prices on clams, scallops or oysters. However, we're getting out of gulf oyster season, starting hurricane season and the crawfish are in. Since most crawfish are farmed inland they are still about the same price: $.99/lb by the large bag. Lots of work to pick crawdad meat and freeze it, but well worth the effort. I'm stocking up on some frozen shrimp, and vacumn packed fish filets to tide me over and then I'll change to farm raised catfish and trout, canned tunna, salmon and clams. Basically if the price gets too hight we won't be eating it often, if at all. Dang blasted BP.

            2 Replies
            1. re: aggiecat

              It will be a good time to find out who is buying locally and who has been getting their product from Thailand. Watch out for price gouging for a cheaper product. The FDA is saying it's ok to eat but they might be getting pressure from commercial fishing lobbyists. The NOAA can only close the state water 3 miles out. I'm from MD and the price of crab jumped up there b/c some restaurants get so much down here and sell it as 'Maryland Blue Crab'.

              http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill/

              1. re: hairycover

                i buy large quantities of seafood for my restaurant in new orleans every single day, just yesterday i bought a beautiful box of gulf oysters for 30$ (cheapest i've seen them since katrina) people are spreading all this sensationalist crap about 30$ pounds of shrimp and never seeing another gulf oyster again, letting the fear keep us from buying the seafood that is available, many fishermen have already been screwed over having their grounds closed by damned bp, we should be showing our support and buying their products and if youre not into that line of thinking you are just part of the problem

            2. I really don't know whether or not it's indicative of restaurant supply prices, but good sized head on shrimp (probably about 16-20, although I didn't see it marked on the sign) were selling for under $5 yesterday at Rouses, same price as always more or less. I haven't noticed a difference in prices or supply at restaurants, but I haven't done anything like a scientific study. I have read about issues with oysters at Parkway and Charlie's Seafood, but I have not experienced them firsthand. Crabmeat from Dino's seafood truck this morning was $12/lb for claw and $14 for white, which is exactly what he always charges. So far, I haven't actually experienced or noticed any difference.

              4 Replies
              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                FWIW, just as an idea of prices, one of my spies bought 15-20 count shrimp in Cameron on Tuesday for $3.25/lb. Said there was plenty.

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  I for one think we need to start ignoring the media and their drama rama about the spill. Enough already. Support Louisiana products, all Louisiana products and if it costs a little more so be it. We need to be more focused on keeping the money here. Chowhound Mods: Sorry if this isn't on point.

                  1. re: carol land

                    Amen Carol, buy local and buy Louisiana. Good stuff!

                2. re: uptownlibrarian

                  Thanks for the information. I am also travelling to New Orleans in a couple of weeks, and will be glad to eat as much local seafood as humanly possible.

                3. Oh my, oysters from Texas, the horror. It's not unusual for Louisiana oystermen to get oysters or the shrimpers to get shrimp from Texas, or vice versa. It all depends on who has the better harvest at different times.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: James Cristinian

                    I just want to see how Maryland explains it

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      We can't get any decent sized blue crabs here unless you buy them right off the dock, or catch them yourself, because they all go to Maryland.

                  2. re oysters, I am far from being Henny Penny, that said, not looking so great at the moment, according to Al Sunseri of P&J Oysters, (the BEST IMO) today may be the last day of shucking for ????:
                    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_gulf_oi...
                    NOT to say that can't be found, bought or safely eaten, they CAN

                    )

                    On the bright side, the 24th Annual Creole Tomato Festival is this weekend in the French Quarter (Mkt area)

                    http://www.frenchmarket.org/events/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Suzy Wong

                      And you have the seafood & zydeco fest too! http://www.jazzandheritage.org/cajun-...

                      1. re: mrsfury

                        I see! There are no shortages of festivals, that's great!

                    2. Not good news. Link from noladefender.com:

                      http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/12/small...

                      1. This article, published today, is a really good update on the different strategies different chefs are using:

                        http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spi...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: midcity

                          At the German Coast farmer's market on Saturday, crabs, shrimp, catfish, drum....all were in good supply, with two different fishermen offering their catch. I bought 16-20 shrimp for $4.75/lb, harvested from around Dulac. As always, what's available though wholesalers in restaurant quantities has little to do with what's available to the individual retail customer. The supply of local oysters is tightening up, but shrimp are certainly still available in good quantities...

                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                            You're right; I've been getting shrimp at the farmer's market. I guess I'm zeroing in on oysters, mentally, because I really love them and people seem to think they could be gone for a few years.

                            1. re: midcity

                              According to a post on another board, Harbor Seafood in Kenner is still offering oysters for $8/dozen. Not all sourced from Louisiana, but all sourced from the Gulf of Mexico.

                              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                Is Harbor an eat-in place? I might have to give that a try.

                                1. re: midcity

                                  Half of the place is a seafood market, the other half is a restaurant.

                        2. This has happened before, and we survived. The fly in the ointment may be the lack of barrier islands due to erosion and saltwater intrusion.

                          http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/b...

                          and this, another sceanario:

                          http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairbal...

                          1. Some areas of the gulf will be affected, but it is a big body of water, and while unfortuatley shrimp and crab prices will go up, they will not run out of shrimp, crabs, red fish or truot. The oyster population will be impacted. You can't eat Pelicans so dow't worry about them. The media is sad

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: rrusso

                              that's the most absurd thing I've ever read. as the oil is still gushing *millions of gallons a day*, a whopping 68 days later, it has yet to be seen what the effect will be on shrimp. it is entirely possible the microorganisms on which they feed will be damaged or destroyed.

                              while we do not eat pelicans, brown pelicans are a recovering endangered species.

                              what is sad, besides the loss of seafood and fishing that supplies 30% of the nation, is industry apologists in denial of the damage they inflict in the name of dollar signs.

                              america consumes 20MM barrels/day, yet US offshore produces only 1.75MM. not sure why oil jobs trump fishing jobs. oh, except that the industry and federal govt make billions on oil that they don't on seafood. :|

                              1. re: kibbles

                                For all the gloom and doomers, and on other threads when I posted optimism about Texas seafood, remarks like "ok for now," or wait til the currents shift," the Gulf has been through this before and came through. I am not happy about the leak, but things will be ok.

                                http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spi...