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May 5, 2010 6:34 PM by Kate Mundy

Rush for Fresh Gulf Seafood in Acadiana

Fears of a seafood shortage caused a rush at markets and marinas on Wednesday. Suppliers were swamped with orders across Acadiana.

"I'd like to get all that you have in there," said Abbeville resident Dolla Walker. She bought 20 pounds of Gulf shrimp at Sonny's Seafood Market in Lafayette and she's not even planning a party. "We want to stock up, stock up on it just to make sure," said Walker.

Seafood lovers like Walker are worried, so much in fact, that they're buying in bulk. "People that normally buy 10 pounds will call for 40 to 50 pounds," said shrimp retailer Leon Stelly.

Sonny's is having trouble keeping up with the demand. "We're not getting 36-42s. Yesterday I couldn't get none at all," said Roger Dejean.

The early shrimping season for zones one and two ended Tuesday night after being open for less than a week. That left little time for shrimpers to load up. The reason it closed, was to preserve juvenile brown shrimp that were showing up, not because of oil.

Granger's Seafood in Maurice sold out of its load before the shrimp was even caught and brought into Delcambre on Tuesday night. "It's been crazy cause the customers just want to get their hands on some shrimp in case the oil would happen to come," said Cheryl Granger.

Folks are stuffing their freezers, fearing a possible shortage. "Instead of 25 or 30 pounds they'll take 100 pounds, one lady came this morning and picked up 300 pounds," said Granger.

Shrimpers are hopeful for Thursday May 6, when Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries will meet to announce the opening of the shrimp season for just zone two, which includes Vermilion Bay.

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