June 8th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

Oil disaster’s ripple effect in the Twin Cities

Coastal Seafood in Minneapolis distributes seafood from all over the world.

There’s very little for sale on the ice-lined shelves of Minneapolis’ Coastal Seafood that comes from the Gulf of Mexico.

But that doesn’t mean the Gulf oil disaster isn’t having a small ripple effect on the seafood industry in the Twin Cities.

One customer, Heath Magnuson, said the disaster in the Gulf was part of the reason he decided to buy directly from the seafood distributor.

“I haven't been shopping at the supermarkets as much as I used to because of it [the oil spill],” said Magnuson, who was shopping with his 5-year-old son, Holden. “That's why I came to this store.”

Coastal Seafood buys from vendors all over the world, including the Mediterranean, Alaska, Hawaii, Asia, and the United States, according to manager Damon Holston.

Holston said they don’t usually distribute much from the Gulf coast states, and haven’t for a long time.

“There's risks associated with Gulf oysters and the warm water and stuff like that, and we just decided to not do it,” he said. “The Louisiana shrimp I think we bought a few times in the last few years, but they're extremely expensive.”

Coastal Seafood still gets some shrimp from Texas and Mexico, but Holston said it has not been affected by the oil because “the Gulf Stream is pushing away from those areas.”

Despite that, prices for all seafood “has already started to fluctuate,” Holston said.

“That’s based on the fact that shrimp prices were at all time lows for a couple years,” he said. “People are kind of using the oil spill to justify raising some of the pricing, just as a tool to do that.”

As an example, he said he’s noticed a jump in price for tiger shrimp.

“It’s Vietnam and southeast Asia where most of those [tiger shrimp] come from and that’s obviously nowhere near the oil spill.”

Lisa Randall, who stopped into the store with her 3-year-old daughter, Aria, said she had no qualms about buying Gulf seafood.

“We're still buying shrimp today ...It's from closer to the Texas coast,” Randall said.

“When things like this happen you realize just how precious fish and the health of our oceans are, so I'm probably buying more than I used to,” Randall said. “I just think it brings about an awareness.”

Another customer, Mark Johnson, expressed some initial concern for the shrimp for sale.

“Where are [these shrimp] caught from, do you know?” Johnson asked over the counter.

He still bought some, after learning they were from off Mexico’s coast.

Holston suggested that anyone shopping for seafood – whether in Minnesota or anywhere in the country – should develop a relationship with their local seafood distributor.

“Learn to trust them and what they say,” he said. “I would say keep eating seafood. This is affecting the people down there obviously, but it shouldn't affect what's on your plate in Minnesota.”

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Joe Cunningham

    Would it be possible to put a large tube say 1 ft diameter into the huge oil spill and pump it up and into oil tankers. Then send it to oil refineries to separate water and refine the oil. The pump and tube would be similar to ones used to extract fish, such as herring from fish boat hulls to decks. Just a thought on the issue.

    June 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tossed Salad

      Oil and Water dont mix
      easy to seperate

      June 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bojingo

      No sir, sea water gets in the pipe and forms hydrates, blocking the pipe. It's not a simple solution. Oil and seawater behave very differently in a high pressure/low temp environment.

      June 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. damiao

    http://www.englishtips-self-taught.blogspot.com help to spread this idea overseas...

    June 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    "“When things like this happen you realize just how precious fish and the health of our oceans are, so I'm probably buying more than I used to,” Randall said. “I just think it brings about an awareness.”

    You're doing it wrong. If you care about the health of the oceans, maybe you should buy less seafood

    June 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. don canard

    eat tofu. healthy oceans trump your right to gourmet food.

    June 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. GI JOE

    ok now, we don't need to argue points folks. when your up to your ass in aligators you forget your there to drain the swamp.

    June 8, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GI JOE

    so now the oil spill is only a trickle, mr president are you just a little bit pregnant. this is going down hill fast.

    June 9, 2010 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. GI JOE

    NOW HEAR THIS (i'm from the government and i'm here to help you ) god help us.

    June 9, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. GI JOE

    RIP
    I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK

    June 9, 2010 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. GI JOE

    I JUST LOVE THIS, BP SAYS DON'T WORRY THE CHECKS IN THE MAIL.

    June 9, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. GI JOE

    I WANT EVERY AMERICAN TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES, IF YOU THINK THIS WON'T AFFECT YOU, THINK AGAIN. BP IS TREATING US AS A STEPCHILD IT'S ABOUT TIME WE STAND UP AND SAY HELL NO. SEMPER FI

    June 9, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. GI JOE

    Well i for one living in florida for more than 30yrs am worried about our sea food supply, who wouldn't be. we are talking too much and not addressing the problem with everything at our disposal. i'm a do or die kind of guy, i wait for no one to do what i know needs to be done. so lets get going.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 1814, this is an oil spill contingency plan that has a proven extraction process. If British Petroleum’s hired goons stop authorized U.S. press from filming on American Soil just one more time, History may repeat its self!

    THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS, by Johnny Horton: In 1814 we took a little trip, along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip, we took a little bacon and we took a little beans, we caught the bloody British in a town in New Orleans

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We looked down the river and we see'd the British come, there must have been a hundred of'em, beatin' on the drums They stepped so high, and they made their bugles ring, we stood by our cotton bales, and didn't say a thing

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise if we didn't fire our muskets 'Till we looked 'em in the eye, we held our fire 'Till we see'd their faces well Then we opened up our squirrel guns And really gave 'em – well we

    Fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That the hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    We fired our cannon 'til the barrel melted down So we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round We filled his head with cannon balls, and powdered his behind And when we touched the powder off the gator lost his mind

    We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin', there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago we fired once more and they begin to runnin', on down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

    Yeah, they ran through the briars And they ran through the brambles And they ran through the bushes Where the rabbit couldn't go They ran so fast That hounds couldn't catch 'em On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Go Johnny!

    We posted a PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May 2010, this is a post oil spill contingency plan that has a proven Oil Spill extraction process and a patented Hydro-Carbon (emissions free) recycling technology.

    We’ve found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that will extract up to 98% of oil spill contaminants from the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It also includes contingencies for, re-processing all of the oil drenched materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities creating, long term renewable energy revenues for the community.

    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to minimize their cost by denying problems exist. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies our plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on an oil spill they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. This cannot be allowed to go on any longer! We have four suggestions to remedy this situation.

    a. Executive orders from the president to keep BP within five miles of their oil rig to work on plugging their oil well.
    b. Executive orders from the president keeping BP completely out of the state containment and clean-up process.
    c. Executive orders from the president to keep BP paying for the affected business and state clean-up’s, on time.
    d. Find a way to approve pro-active plans rapidly and, for God’s sake, make decisions without first consulting BP.

    To date, BP has not plugged the well, contained the oil spill or even moved quickly to approve state contingency plans to keep oil off their shores. BP needs to plug their damned hole and pay the states for containment and clean-up operations.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Sincerely, Craig N. Barthelmas ge1re22@aol.com

    June 10, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |