Prices Up, Supply Down For Some Of Your Favorite NC Seafood

If you're looking for fresh, local seafood, you will have to pay more than you did last year.

The cost of soft shell crabs, blue crabs, and shrimp are all up about 30-percent. And you can pretty much forget about red drum or speckled trout.

Patricia Smith from the Division of Marine Fisheries says crab numbers last year were down 18-percent. Commercial fishermen say this year is even worse. Unfortunately, crab isn't the only problem.

Brenda Fraser, a regular customer at B&J Seafood in James City, loves fresh local shrimp. But with the 30-percent increase in price, she says, "I go with the flow. If it's too high I wait until there is a sale and then I stock up."

Other customers looking for red drum or speckled trout can't stock up.

Smith says last year commercial fishermen exceeded the cap on red drum by 100,000 pounds and can't fish them again until September.

As for the trout, they were cold stunned by our chilly winter and need a chance to reproduce.

Another shortage we're seeing this year is flounder. Commercial fishermen typically catch those fish with gill nets, but the state stopped the use of the nets to prevent fishermen from accidentally catching red drum. Some local waters will be allowed to use the nets starting June 1st.

Other reasons why seafood is more expensive is because of high fuel prices, and fewer commercial fishermen out there catching the fish.