Think about all the dishes that you make with Louisiana crab. Seafood gumbo, crab cakes, crab au gratin, crab dip and numerous (wonderful) others come to mind. But now for folks across the state it may be time to start looking for a substitute. Because, if you haven't noticed, the price of Louisiana crab has skyrocketed.

What About Prices in Shreveport and Bossier?

How high? How about $50 a pound for restaurants and $70 a pound for grocery shoppers!

In fact, a tour of markets in the Shreveport and Bossier City area found the highest price currently at $69.99 a pound. And a call to local restauranteur garnered the following quote. "I can't sell it. It's too expensive. The last time I had (Louisiana) crab, I got two pounds and it cost me $99 from a wholesaler."

But It's Not Only Louisiana Crab Prices

And as the price of Louisiana crab rises, so does the cost of imported crab, mostly from Mexico or Asia. That same check of local grocery stores discovered a pound of lump crab meat, "harvested from blue swimming crabs in the tropical waters of Southeast Asia" selling for $40 a pound.

getty images
getty images

But both wholesalers and retailers say it's impossible to point to a single reason processed crabmeat is selling for up to three times the price of a year ago.

You Hate to Keep Blaming the Pandemic, But...

Louisiana's seafood industry is struggling with many of the same pandemic problems as other major industries, including worker shortages and supply chain interruptions. In addition, the state's coastal parishes continue to recover from the hurricanes of the last two years.

And to make the situation worse, crabs normally harvested from other parts of the US are also seeing dramatic shortages. In other words, Louisiana crabs are not only in higher demand in Louisiana, but the perfect storm of pandemic related issues has increased prices further as suppliers across the country are unable to meet orders, not only at home, but everywhere.

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