Gulf seafood industry rebounding from oil spill impact - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulf seafood industry rebounding from oil spill impact

Posted: Updated: April 16, 2013 05:54 AM
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

This Saturday marks three years since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And this week, WLOX News will be taking a closer look at the impact of that tragedy and the ongoing recovery.

The seafood industry certainly felt the impact.

"We're selling a lot of fresh fish again. And I think people have gotten over the perception that seafood is not safe," said Jim Gunkel, the business manager at Quality Poultry and Seafood in Biloxi.

Quality was among the retailers which saw sales suffer in the immediate wake of the Deepwater Horizon.

"Yeah, it was a tremendous problem early on.  It took us about a year to get over it. And I think people got their confidence back and then they started buying seafood again," he said.

Gunkel says the business helped overcome the negative impact by being pro-active about the product.

"A lot of advertising and people coming into the market, just assuring them things were safe and giving them samples and telling them we eat this same seafood. We take it home and eat it. We wouldn't sell anything that we wouldn't eat," he explained.

"Everyone was thinking, oh don't buy that seafood. And sales just went away," said the DMR's Irvin Jackson.

Jackson faced the formidable task of promoting gulf seafood after the oil spill.

"The task was how do we convince the rest of the country and the rest of the world that our seafood is safe and healthy. When you have a seafood industry that is tied directly to the water, they're going to suffer more than anyone else," said Jackson.

That perception about seafood safety can be difficult to battle. Someone who's seen multiple images of a pelican coated in oil, might well question the safety of seafood that comes from gulf waters.

"The perception was key. Because in fact, we never had contaminated or bad product on the market," said Jackson.

Still, that market suffered just the same.

"A little challenging. But we got through it," Jim Gunkel admitted.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >>
  • Two injured Omega Protein plant workers speak out

    Two injured Omega Protein plant workers speak out

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:17:11 GMT
    Two of the men injured in the Omega Protein explosion on Monday are speaking out about the deadly blast. In an exclusive interview with WLOX, the men describe what happened, and how they survived.More >>
    Two of the men injured in the Omega Protein explosion on Monday are speaking out about the deadly blast. In an exclusive interview with WLOX News, the men describe what happened that day, and how they survived.More >>
  • Hundreds of mourners celebrate life of Ja-Naya Thompson

    Hundreds of mourners celebrate life of Ja-Naya Thompson

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-23 10:54:08 GMT
    As Ja-Naya Thompson's short life was celebrated, there were a lot of tears and hugs as hundreds of people paid their respects during the visitation and the funeral service.More >>
    As Ja-Naya Thompson's short life was celebrated, there were a lot of tears and hugs as hundreds of people paid their respects during the visitation and the funeral service. People told me they went to Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for two reasons, to mourn the loss of five year old Ja-Naya and to show support to the parents who must now face life without their beloved child.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.