Experts in the seafood industry obviously agree that the Gulf oil spill will affect the national seafood market. But they're not sure how great the impact will be and how soon we'll feel it. Commodities that trade on futures contracts, including seafood, are priced based on the anticipated cost on a future date, rather than their current cost. Seafood futures are going up quickly.
Local fisherman & dock workers in the Gulf have already been hit hard. Fishing bans have left the industry without work, with the exception of a few shifts helping BP & the government try to contain the oil spill. As more time goes by, the effects will ripple through the nation's seafood market.
The National Restaurant Association says that the oil spill occurred right as food costs were rising for restaurants. "Wholesale food prices rose 7 percent in the 12-month period that ended March 31, with certain commodities spiking much more, such as unprocessed fin fish (a 48 percent price jump). During that same 12-month span, menu prices that customers pay rose by an average of only 0.5 percent"(NHR).