Seafood businesses optimistic about 2015 crawfish season

Seafood businesses optimistic about 2015 crawfish season

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Many seafood businesses are now offering crawfish and have been doing so since the beginning of January. This year's outlook for the red crustacean is a positive one, according to crawfish farmers. Biloxi seafood industry leaders said right now they are selling a few hundred pounds a day, but as the season continues they expect to sell thousands of pounds daily.

"Mudbugs, crawdads, mini-lobster, if you are from out of town," said Andy Gunkel general manager of Quality Poultry and Seafood in Biloxi.

You can call them what you like, one things for sure many people consider crawfish tasty.

"It's been out about three weeks and they've dropped down about a dollar in price. You know the beginning of the year they are a little bit smaller, but with warmer weather they will be more bountiful," said Gunkel.

Desporte and Sons Market and Deli co-owner Sean Desporte said this year's crawfish season started a bit late.

"A lot of years it will start October, November. This year it started a little late," Desporte said.

Seafood businesses like Quality Poultry and Seafood started selling crawfish around the beginning of January.
Right now, cooked mudbugs cost an average $4 a pound. But that cost is expected to change as the season continues.

"They drop usually every month and then after Mardi Gras Holidays they usually drop as more and more crawfish is harvested," said Gunkel.

Desporte said his crawfish farmers are optimistic about this year's harvests.

"They're saying as long as we don't have a really cold winter that crawfish season is going to be really good. They're saying the prices are going to drop. The season looks a lot better than last year. They outta be plentiful and the prices should be a lot better," Desporte added. And customers are counting on that.

With upcoming holidays like Mardi Gras, the Vietnamese New Year and Easter, crawfish sales will peak.

"People have a passion for their crawfish. An unbelievable passion. You know, and if they don't have their crawfish, it's like an addiction. They have to come and get it," said Gunkel.

If you're planning a crawfish boil or if you're buying them cooked seafood businesses recommend about 5 to 6 pounds of crawfish per person.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.