A report from Venice, La, a fishing center and ground zero for the fight to save the coast from the oil slick. Meanwhile, a friend in south Mississippi just e-mailed:
I just finished my lunch of boiled crabs and beer, knowing that this is perhaps my last Gulf seafood for quite some time. The fish market in McComb is run by a man from St. Bernard parish and he was glum this morning, declaring that it is over for Louisiana. He said that foreign merchants have already begun to try to fill the gaps that are looming and also raised their prices. I am very sad about what is happening in the marshes down here. A little mad, but mostly sad.
I talked to my Dad last evening, and he said, “Damn, I love oysters.” This, knowing that this oil spill might destroy the Louisiana oyster industry, if the oil sinks and ruins their beds. If you’ve ever had the sublime pleasure of downing a few dozen Louisiana oysters on ice in the French Quarter at the Acme or Felix’s, you know exactly what we might lose.
The worst may not happen. It’s early yet. But wherever you are in America, if you love seafood, this is going to hurt.
UPDATE: My south Mississippi friend writes back:
I ran back to town and purchased 10 lbs of shrimp. They’re being rationed today and that’s the max allowed. There is truly a sense of impending disaster, much like when a hurricane is approaching. I guess this is sort of an ecologic and economic storm. Really depressing. I intend to freeze the shrimp in one pound bags and treat them like the gold they are now.