North Jersey Seeing Boost In Shellfish Prices

Seafood restaurants and distributors across North Jersey are seeing increases in the price of oysters and shrimp as the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico cuts supplies.

Businesses report as much as 20 to 30 percent price hike as the shortage of gulf-produced seafood has boosted demand for shellfish caught elsewhere, inflating prices.

“There aren’t many oysters or shellfish coming out of the gulf region,” said Joseph Niece, president of Carlstadt-based Sweetwater Seafood Corp., which cleans and packs shellfish, ready to be sold by distributors. “And the ones that are coming out, everybody is skeptical about buying.”

Niece said that as soon as he saw news of the April 20 accident that caused the spill, he bought extra supplies of frozen oysters in anticipation of a shortage. He said prices have since risen by 30 percent.

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