Oil spill affected SC's seafood industry

Murrells Inlet, SC - MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - As an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spreads across the water, the seafood industry in the Palmetto State is changing.

"Shrimp from the Gulf is already edging up because they're not sure how much production they'll have this year," said Murrells Inlet Seafood owner Rick Baumann. "The folks that have shrimp from the Gulf in the freezer are holding their inventory in the anticipation of a price increase."

More than shrimp prices are on the rise. Oysters have been the most impacted by spill so far. Baumann says the cost of oysters from the Gulf have gone up more than 25 percent.

Baumann, as well the nearby Seven Seas Seafood Market, say that despite the rise, they think the reality of the price hike do not yet match the hype.

"Prices have not gone through the roof on any product coming out of the ocean," he said, likening the rise to when steaks hit an all-time high. "There for a while you just backed off and bought cheaper cuts of meat."

The same thing will happen to seafood if prices continue an upward trend, he said.

"Folks are going to eat their seafood," Baumann commented. "They're just going to pick the less expensive items if the prices get too high."

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