|Published:||May 05, 2010 5:10 AM EDT|
|Updated:||May 05, 2010 5:10 AM EDT|
NAPLES, Fla. - Right now commercial fishing is shut down from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle. This has some locals asking questions when they visit their grocery store and fish markets.
"I always ask when did it swim last, not when it was caught," Ally McLeod says while at the seafood counter at Captain Jerry's in Wynn's Market in Naples.
Besides that question, employees at Captain Jerry's say they give more questions to customers about seafood and the oil spill then they receive.
"We've actually brought it up to some of our customers about the gulf shrimp," manager Chris Aldrich tells me.
Shrimp is one of their most popular items, it's also one of the only ones locally caught. "We're just concerned where they come from is where the oil spill is," Aldrich says.
So far, they don't have anything to worry about, but if oil comes this way they're prepared to get shrimp from the other coast of Florida.
Aldrich believes that's when the questions will start coming. "They all expect prices to go down when it's off season and I don't think it's going to happen this season."
It's a different story at Captain Kirk's Seafood. Most customers here know Patty Kirk gets 90 percent of her seafood from the waters off Chokoloskee to Pine Island.
"I've had three calls today about shrimp, people wanting to come and should I buy 5, 10, 20 pounds," Kirk says.
Their number one reason for stocking up is customers are afraid the prices will go up soon.
It's hard for Kirk to say whether or not that will happen since it's not a problem for local fishermen yet.
The other question she gets, mostly from tourists, is if the seafood is safe. The Department of Agriculture says Florida seafood is safe to eat.
However, many fish markets worry what will happen over the next few months. Specifically, with shrimp since many local fishermen travel towards Texas to catch shrimp over the summer, and it isn't known how that coast will be effected by the oil spill.