Seafood restaurant recovery: One year after the gulf oil spill

By Tracy Clemons - bio|email

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA)- A year ago Wednesday, the Deepwater Horizon exploded. The explosion took 11 lives, but the oil spill it caused also crippled Louisiana's seafood industry. Many businesses that depended on gulf seafood did not survive, but we talked to a couple that did.

"Basically everything has gone back to normal," says Duc Duong. He owns Kim's Seafood and PoBoy in Bossier City.

He recalls the time following the oil spill-"We couldn't get no crab, no oyster, and if we did get a hand on the oyster, it would be double in price."

We asked if the higher prices to bring the seafood in from the gulf made their way down to his customers.

"No I couldn't do that. I couldn't change it just for two or three months, and then put it back down. I just had to take the loss on it."

Around the corner from Kim's at Ralph and Kacoo's, the manager says they figured the shrimp prices would skyrocket, so they made a big move before that happened.

"Our owner was a little bit proactive. He stocked my freezer up with a bunch of shrimp," says Gayland Johnson.

He tells KSLA News 12 that his customers were a little concerned about the safety of the seafood, but mainly the oysters.

"...but we only use Ameripure oysters. When they stopped fishing for those, we actually had to stop because we couldn't get them anymore," Johnson says.

Despite that concern, they didn't stop coming.

"They come from all over around here. They love Louisiana seafood."

One of those is Libby Hines. She's from Scottsville, Texas. She says she never lost confidence in the seafood at all.

"I think they did an effective cleanup, and I think it's probably safe. And I come here to Ralph and Kacoos and I eat seafood all the time."

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