Seafood industry getting more concerned about coastal crisis - - The News for South Mississippi

Seafood industry getting more concerned about coastal crisis

By David Elliott – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Desporte and Son's Seafood in Biloxi has been in the retail seafood business for more than a century.

"My Grandfather says he's never seen anything like this" says Shawn Desporte as he puts shrimp from Texas on ice.

Most of Mississippi's shrimp fleet has signed on with BP's Vessels of Opportunity program rather than search for shrimp in Mississippi water. "I talked to the peeling plant to find out what percentage of the shrimp boats are working. They told me it's only about 10%" says Desporte.

The family is concerned about how consumers are reacting to the massive oil leak in the Gulf. Desporte says he wants everyone to know that every precaution is being taken to make sure Gulf seafood is safe to eat "It's inspected by the FDA, the Health Department, Fisheries and Wildlife and the DMR before we get it".

Basic economic forces are at play. Supply is down , prices are up. The wild card is demand. If people are worried about the integrity of Gulf seafood it could have a devastating affect on businesses like Desporte and Son's "We're worried to death. It could put an end to our business" says Desporte.

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