Hurricane Katrina's unprecedented devastation of the central Gulf Coast threatens Louisiana oysters and other consumer goods that depend on Gulf Coast ports, with higher prices on the horizon.
Other commodities and goods affected include poultry and catfish in Mississippi.
Gulf Coast warehouse operators and cold storage houses at area ports are likely to be put out of commission, compounding seafood producers' woes as soaring fuel costs do their own damage.
Other nations, including China, may fill the void for shrimp production since they already export mass quantities to the United States. However, “prices would go sky high" if Gulf oyster beds are damaged, according to Bob Jones, who is executive director of the Southeastern Fisheries Association.
Louisiana had ranked as the nation's leading oyster producer, and the state contains two of the most active US ports, the Ports of New Orleans and South Louisiana.