Oil collected in a skimming boom - Courtesy of Deepwater Horizon Response via Flickr

As oil gushes out of the ocean floor, the Gulf’s highly sought after seafood is vanishing from menus nationwide.

Here in Sheepshead Bay, Randazzo’s Restaurant is feeling the pain. According to a CBS News report, owner Paul Randazzo said the price of Gulf seafood is rising as availability disappears.

Before the spill, certain seafood was readily available. “It’s ‘how many cases do you want?’ What’re you kidding? And I’m paying two dollars over market. And now it’s not so available, it’s ‘why don’t you try this, why don’t you try that’?” he said.

“The longer and longer this clean-up takes? I think the higher the prices of seafood is going to get,” Randazzo said.

Louisiana, the state most hurt by the spill, makes up nearly a third of the nation’s domestic seafood supply. Staples like shrimp, blue crab and oysters have taken the largest hit, caught up in the 30 percent of the state’s coastline that has been closed to fishing since the spill.

But the region’s fishermen aren’t about to admit defeat, and they’re turning to other local seafood supplies to fill the gap, according to the Washington Post. Suppliers are pushing crayfish, carp and mussels as replacements, and some less traditional meats, like alligator, are finding their way onto menus.

Meanwhile, the industry is also looking to convince consumers that the fishing industry is still alive – if not well – and food is safe to eat.

“Anything going on the market is being tested and tested and tested at unprecedented levels,” Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, told the Washington Post.

How about you? Would you eat crayfish and alligator if it turned up on Randazzo’s menu? Should Sheepshead Bay’s fishermen start selling catches from their boats again, to help bolster supplies of fresh, local fish?

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  • Jim

    Crayfish are wonderful. Like shrimp, they should be cooked with their heads on if you want the full flavor. Alligator is pretty bland and often too costly for some reason. Chicken is a better option.

    Local fishermen are very important and we should support their efforts to be a major part of the fresh food market.

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

    Gator ribs!!!

  • Bugg

    I love Randazzo's. Suspect strongly the price of shrimp is about to go through the roof. But if you go to almost any fish store(Seatide or Celonna's on Avenue U), calamari is relatively cheap-$2-3 a pound uncut.Randazzo's, buying it in bulk, has been hiking the price of a plate of calamari through the roof forever notwithstandning it's low market price. But Randazzo's main ingredient is still cheap and readily available elsewhere, and they will again hit you off the head with the cash register and use this as their latest excuse to do so.

  • nolastname

    Don't think the oil will miss Sheepshead. I see foam, on some beaches, that already looks tainted. When hurricane season hits we will see oil for sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=839675042 Holly Renee Reinhardt

    It wouldn't be from the Gulf oil spill. My mother was out at my favorite beach in Florida on the Gulf Coast yesterday, and she said the water was so clear, you could see to the bottom of the floor. I don't doubt that it will hit us eventually, but it's not even close to doing so just yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=839675042 Holly Renee Reinhardt

    I'm thinking of stocking up on frozen shrimp because I DO eat a lot of it.
    And I would eat crayfish and alligator in a heartbeat. I actually LOVE alligator. But I definitely think people should start selling local seafood. It would help our economy, and I know I like eating fish that's as fresh as possible!

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    That foam is just your usual New York City “acqua con schiuma.” It's what gives our beaches the unique… ugh… I'm done with the espresso analogy already. Our water sucks – that's that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=839675042 Holly Renee Reinhardt

    It wouldn't be from the Gulf oil spill. My mother was out at my favorite beach in Florida on the Gulf Coast yesterday, and she said the water was so clear, you could see to the bottom of the floor. I don't doubt that it will hit us eventually, but it's not even close to doing so just yet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=839675042 Holly Renee Reinhardt

    I'm thinking of stocking up on frozen shrimp because I DO eat a lot of it.
    And I would eat crayfish and alligator in a heartbeat. I actually LOVE alligator. But I definitely think people should start selling local seafood. It would help our economy, and I know I like eating fish that's as fresh as possible!

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    That foam is just your usual New York City “acqua con schiuma.” It's what gives our beaches the unique… ugh… I'm done with the espresso analogy already. Our water sucks – that's that.