If the catch of the day seems pricier than usual at your local seafood spot, you’re not alone – a perfect storm has caused an increase in seafood prices in the United States.
Melaina Lewis, the director of communications for the National Fisheries Institute, told Today that “the seafood industry is experiencing a backlog at U.S. ports as well as navigating a major labor shortage, transportation price hikes, and increased costs of seafood, packaging, and other supplies that are complicating their operations.”
Lewis continued, noting that “this all contributes to higher prices and serious delays in bringing seafood from bait to plate.”
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The combination of supply chain issues coupled with a labor shortage in the restaurant industry has created a difficult situation for some restauranteurs, who have to decide between raising prices or taking seafood items off the menu.
“You can’t make a cream of crab soup at the prices we’re seeing now,” said Yen Lee, the general manager of Bethesda Crab House in Maryland. “You would have to charge 10 dollars a bowl versus five dollars a bowl.”
While Lee’s restaurant has kept its namesake item on the menu by raising prices, competitors have taken other approaches. Lee shared that neighboring restaurants switched from crab cakes to shrimp cakes in order to deal with rising prices for the crustaceans.
Americans are not just seeing price increases at seafood restaurants, they’re feeling it at the gas pump as well.
The cost of gasoline has risen exponentially since the beginning of the year, with experts noting that consumers can expect the prices to continue rising through the end of the summer.
In early July, AAA representative Jeanette McGee told CBS that “we believe it'll rise another 10 to 20 cents at the pump between now and the end of August.”
GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan said “with imbalances in supply and demand continuing, motorists will continue digging deeper to pay for gasoline, as prices are likely headed nowhere but up until global supply starts to catch up with the surge in demand.”