The Oil Spill And Shrimp Season: How Consumer Confidence Plays A Role

The Oil Spill And Shrimp Season: How Consumer Confidence Plays A Role

As shrimp season begins in the gulf region, we wonder, Is the seafood safe to eat? Actually, it’s probably the most-tested food source in the United States, and will be for a while.

Yesterday marked the first day of the first white shrimp season since the BP spill in Louisiana. But questions loomed in the air about the seafood industry in the area where shrimp was once worth more than $100 million a year.

Pictures Say More Than Words, And Last Longer

Ever since the devastating oil spill, headlines have continuously circulated on the damage done to the gulf region. Pictures of animals coated in thick black oil and murky waters pinched at the heartstrings in every American (and human around the world and back), and it will be hard to erase those sights from our memories. Now, as the gulf gets cleaned up, consumers are still left with those blazing images: the water is tainted.

The Effects Of Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence plays a huge role in consumption decisions. When the latest Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) came out last month, it was a big deal because it revealed how consumers (at least a small portion) felt about the stability of our economy, and how likely they were to start spending. The same goes for consumer confidence in specific industries… and this is what shrimpers in the gulf region are really worried about. It is going to be difficult, even with tons of continued testing and a new marketing campaign, to erase the images of the spill.

Time To Rebuild A Reputation

After a positive test run on Friday where no signs of oil were found on nets or shrimps, buyers are still extremely limited. Their reputation has been shot. As a long-time shrimper told the New York Times, “The point is not to come out here and fill this boat full of shrimp. It’s to know there’s something out here that will multiply. It’s our future.”

Do you feel safe about eating the shrimp from the gulf region? Let us know in the comments.


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