Hurricane season lasts from June to November. Recent hurricanes and tropical storms hitting the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast have not only put the power out at homes and businesses but put fisherman at bay. Seafood processing plants along the coast have also been put to a stop from power outages.
These storms have lowered the amount of fish available to harvest not only because it is dangerous to fish, but after a storm hits, the ocean and gulf need time to settle. For example, in North Carolina fishing waters have been closed because “The waters may have been contaminated by Hurricane Irene’s excessive rainfall, coastal flooding and sanitary sewer overflows.” These necessary measures must take place in order to sustain food safety and maintain sustainable fishing levels.
Hurricane Irene also caused problems all the way up the coast to Maine. Oyster beds and wild clam grounds have been wiped out by run off and flooding, common effects from any powerful storm.
Tropical Storm Lee hit the Gulf of Mexico and New Orleans where many oysters are harvested. Oyster beds were closed on September 2nd until tests affirm the food is safe for consumption.
The seafood industry will slowly adjust back to regular harvesting levels after the bad bacterias flush out. SeafoodSource.com released a statement from the The National Restaurant Association on Irene’s impact: “The National Restaurant Association offers our sympathies to those who suffered loss of life or property damage, and applauds the federal, state and local disaster preparedness communities for their work in preparing us for the worst as we all hoped for the best. We also recognize the frustration of some restaurant communities that were not heavily impacted by Irene, but were evacuated or closed in anticipation of projected damage. It is not entirely possible to predict where a storm of Irene’s size will cause the most damage, and while we applaud the caution shown that undoubtedly saved lives, we sympathize with those where losses will be primarily financial.”
The Euclid Fish Company