Restaurant Owner Not Passing Down Rising Oyster Prices To Consumers

Rising oyster prices are forcing local business owners to shell out more money for their product.

Statistics show the average price of a sack of oysters has nearly doubled, from 25 to 40 dollars a sack.

But one South Mississippi restaurant owner is working to keep from passing one rising prices to his customers.

"We keep our oysters right here," Seaman's Cove owner D.J. Stone said.

And in order to keep his oyster supply up, Stone says he's having to spend more than one thousand dollars extra on oysters per month.

"About 20 percent more right now. They went from 40 dollars for an eight pound gallon to 48 dollars," Stone said.

Although he's shelling out more money for oysters, Stone says he doesn't want his customers footing the bill.

"You just can't go out and change your prices. Some people do pencil in, but we just kind of wait and see what happens," he said.

So just why are oysters so expensive?

"The guy who delivers and catches told me that they were a lot harder to catch this year. There are fewer of them," Stone said.

Leaders with the Department of Marine Resource say Hurricane Ivan destroyed lots of the oyster reefs along the coast.

As a result, DMR has set heavy restrictions on harvesters to protect the oysters still out there.

So far Stone hasn't put a restriction on his customer's appetites.

Nor has he put a restriction on their wallets.

Instead he's just waiting for break and hoping the prices soon come back down.