WASHINGTON — Describing the Gulf Coast oil spill as "an ecological and human disaster that will surely effect not only the fragile habitats where shrimp and oysters are harvested but the very core of the community that brings these iconic delicacies from the waters of the Gulf to the tables of America," the National Fisheries Institute nonetheless has assured consumers, retailers and restaurant owners that the spill is not expected to cause shortages of seafood, or wild price fluctuations in seafood markets.
In addition, SN spoke with Donald Rouse, president of Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses Supermarkets this week about the spill's impact on the local seafood industry.
"The two categories of Louisiana seafood that will greatly be affected will be the oyster and crab industry," he said, noting that 50% of the area's oyster beds and 70% of the areas crabs are harvested east of the Mississippi, in the path of the spill. But 77% of the state's total seafood production is fished out of the west side of the Mississippi, all the way to Port Arthur, Texas.
"These waters are unaffected by the spill and remain open," Rouse said.
He added that Rouses has launched advertisements to assure its shoppers that the seafood it offers is safe, and that the company will continue to ensure that all products have been secured and checked before leaving fishermen's boats.
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