Birmingham restaurants worried over seafood scare

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has many Birmingham seafood vendors and restaurants scrambling.

Satterfield's Restaurant in Cahaba Heights depends on seafood from the gulf. The restaurant has fish on hand but only about a ten day supply left. That means prices will be rising. "Last week, yellow fin tuna out of the gulf (was) $13.25 a pound. Today, $17.95 in the back door," Haller McGee, of Satterfield's, said.
Those who depend on seafood are very concerned about the spill as it continues to threaten the gulf coast of Alabama. "We need to get the oil stopped. Once we know this has stopped. I think we can make arrangements for recovery," John Walker, General Manager of Inland Seafood said.

Work continues in the gulf to try and contain the oil spill. While most hope the damage can be limited, seafood vendors are looking at alternatives. "We have had hiccups in supplies from the gulf. Oysters and crabmeat being imported by us," Walker said.

Restaurants are looking elsewhere for the needs. "We will be out sourcing some of our fish from the Pacific. I think that would be the most viable thing to do from our customers stand point," McGee said.
Both restaurants and suppliers say they will find fish for consumers. As for the possibility of oil tainted seafood slipping into their suppliers, Haller McGee says "I'm going to find it one way or another. If I wouldn't eat it I wouldn't serve it to you."

Copyright 2010 WBRC. All rights reserved.