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LI company not worried about oil spill's effect on shrimp

A Cutchogue wholesale company said the timing of the Gulf oil spill couldn't be worse on several fronts, especially for the shrimp market.

The supply has dwindled since last fall because of bad weather, including a hurricane in Mexico, said Kenneth Homan, president of Braun Seafood Co.

And shrimp from the estuaries in the southern states bordering the Gulf are preparing to make their way to that body of water to fatten up.

"Yes, this is going to adversely affect prices," said Homan, whose company supplies about 600 restaurants in Suffolk County and gets about 10 percent of its shrimp from the Gulf. But he said other producing countries could step up. "If Panama and Peru produce a tremendous amount, then prices might not be as affected."

A check of several local restaurants that use seafood from the Gulf, generally shrimp, didn't turn up any concerns about supplies right now.

The restaurants said wholesalers generally stock large amounts of shrimp because it is sold frozen. So any supply problems could be several months away. "I assume you wouldn't see repercussions right away," said Douglas Gulija, the chef-owner of the Plaza Cafe, a seafood restaurant in Southampton.

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