Gulf Fish Still Good, Despite Public Concern

Abrams runs a 41-boat fishing operation in the Gulf of Mexico out of Panama City, Fla. Twice a week, his trucks deliver fresh fish to Samuels & Son Seafood Co., a family-owned wholesaler in Philadelphia that supplies most of the city's better restaurants and hotels with pristine seafood. Compared to last year, when his guys brought in 345,000 pounds of fish between April 23 and June 30, the catch this year from April 23 to June 9 is down to 196,000 pounds.

"BP hired half of my boats at $1,600 a day to do nothing, just ride around and do nothing. If they'd just spend the money to clean the oil up, but BP is just not doing what they're supposed to do," Abrams said.

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig April 20 is an unmitigated disaster on so many fronts, but for fishermen, seafood wholesalers, restaurateurs and seafood-eating consumers, the catastrophe is still unfolding. The Gulf is America's chief spawning ground for seafood, giving up 40 percent of all of the fish and shellfish harvested in the continental U.S.

Rising prices and diminished supply are the first obvious ripple effects. Where it will end up is anybody's guess.

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