Gulf Oysters & Wild Shrimp Leaving US Menus Fast - Other Seafood Not So Much

fresh gulf shrimp

Texas Gulf-caught Shrimp. Image credit:Alcoholian, Sautéed Texas Gulf Shrimp

I was surprised to learn from the LA Times that most (83%) of the seafood consumed in the USA is imported and that the Gulf of Mexico supplies only about 2% of all seafood consumed here. When distributors say 'not to worry' about the Gulf oil spill, they are factually correct. As a nation, our seafood consumption is already so unsustainable you'll barely notice a change resulting from the BP gusher...unless, of course, you heart locally produced oysters and wild-caught shrimp (as pictured).From the Times story, Gulf oyster, shrimp and crab supplies dwindle and prices rise:

The gulf region accounts for ...more than three-fourths of the country's domestic shrimp commercial production, said Gavin Gibbons, spokesman for the trade group National Fisheries Institute.

Because of the dominance of imported-seafood suppliers, the group has repeatedly assured consumers that they won't be seeing shortages of seafood in their local grocery freezers. Also, supplies of farmed shrimp are typically lower this time of year.

But oysters could be another matter. Most are harvested domestically, and 70% of all oysters consumed in the U.S. come out of the gulf, Gibbons said. Ten of Louisiana's 28 oyster-harvesting areas are closed, and all Louisiana waters east of the Mississippi River are closed to shrimpers.

For the time being, your Master Chefs will have to focus on more plebeian fare in TV cook-offs. The wealthy will increasingly see menu choices for farmed catfish or farmed Tilapia - like the rest of us already do.

This is motivating me to plan a summer trip back to Gods Country - where I grew up - to catch some walleye and crappie and brook trout. And eat them.

Related posts.
Do I Dare to Eat a Shrimp?
How to: Choose your Fish Wisely
Trader Joe's Flunks Sustainable Seafoods 101 (Again) :

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