To quickly qualm any concerns the title of this article may yield, the ultimate answer is “not really”. We source our own fish, however, there a few Florida-based suppliers we work with to bring in certain shellfish. With other big resellers experiencing shortages we have seen a higher demand at our market, which could be coincidental, and foretelling the future is these days is about as easy as predicting waves on the Gulf Of Mexico (rarely ridable for surfers). All that said, we will do our best to do just that, and explain more in-depth the factors at play that may be affecting our current fish stocks.
What sources are causing the issues seen across America?
In December of 2019, just before a new year, the first case of a disease that would soon change the lives of thousands was discovered. This is of course referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that rocked the nation, and world. Throughout the next two and half years, bringing us to today, this widespread illness has caused a great number of issues and hardship for everyday civilians. For instance, many lost their jobs, some their homes, and others their lives or the lives of loved ones.
We will minimize our urge to touch on politics or theories in this article as much like … noses, everyone’s got them.
With the crippling loss so many have faced it pulls into question what other issues have risen across our nation due to this pandemic. The majority of America has seen a great change when it comes to the stock or supply situation on the shelves of grocery stores in most regions. It’s assumed that when we first saw this in early 2020 it was due to fearful hoarding, an in-direct result of the pandemic.
According to USA Today, not only has the pandemic been a major source of these shortages but recent weather conditions as well, from snowstorms in the Northeast to wildfires in Colorado. Furthermore, in combination with delays in both supply and labor, current inflation rates and rising demand has led to a spike in prices on a wide range of products. Analysis from the Labor Department on Wednesday states that in 2021 the consumer price index has increased 7% from last year which is the fastest on record since 1982.
Is there an actual shortage of fresh produce, dairy & more?
There’s just no way we can say for sure either way. According to many news outlets, there is no ‘real’ shortage, and instead, the empty shelves we now see are issues related to the supply chain. Dare we theorize here? I’ll say this much; if there are labor shortages among the supply chain, why would there not also be labor shortages within the actual production & procurement of these resources…? Feel free to comment on your theory below.
Wild Seafood Market is a direct supplier
Most supply chain or labor shortages now derive from the pandemic and its consequences. However, this generally is secluded to corporate companies or larger businesses as their stock needs to travel much greater distances before arriving at its destination. According to Curt Covington the senior director of institutional credit at AgAmerica, the exact pattern of shortages depends on the item, store, and region. These circumstances are then exacerbated by supply chain issues at hand, buyer behavior, and environmental factors.
Having no chain of supply or middle-man, we tend to be unaffected by these problems directly. Our own fishing boats shove off almost daily to procure your fresh, un-processed seafood. Our market is open weekly near John’s Pass where our captains take off to reap their catch directly from the deep waters of our beautiful Gulf of Mexico.
Supply-based issues affecting Wild Seafood Market
Although the fish we source is done so directly, our day-to-day operations have been affected by the global shortages. For instance, the shipping coolers we use to send out retail orders have increased in price along with the shipping costs we are charged when sending out packages.
Although 95% of the fish we supply (wholesale & retail) there are a few species of mostly shellfish we procure from local partners. As these partners see more and more demand, their supplies are running thinner than normal. This has led to our stocks of certain products being slightly lower than we would generally see, however only marginally so.
Nationwide shortages & increased local demand
As mentioned previously, due to current inflation rates and increased demand prices have increased dramatically for products across the board. Meaning that though our stock may not be directly affected by the supply issues occurring around the globe as it is with corporate companies, our prices are not immune. This has to do with a mixture of shortages caused by the pandemic and recent weather, skyrocketing inflation, and increasing demand. Furthermore, the rate of remote jobs has jumped exponentially causing more families to stay at home. This then puts pressure on the demand for various food items as there is less eating out and more home-cooked meals. Consequently, inflation and higher prices remain at a steady incline. However, Wild Seafood Market continuously does its utmost to offer its customers the best deals possible because even those on a budget deserve deliciously fresh seafood.
The silver lining
As large seafood retailers have been importing frozen seafood for years without issue, the recent global shipping issues have slightly thwarted their ability to bring in and resell questionably sourced products. This means more demand for locally sourced seafood, and thus increased interest in the U.S. fisheries. When more U.S. dollars go toward our local fisheries, the local domestic fishing towns will see more and more growth.
With an increase in demand for domestically sourced seafood, there is of course an effect on overseas fishing. As many overseas fishing nations do far less to assure their seafood is ethically, sustainably sourced, a decrease in demand translates to an increase in fishing populations that are at high risk of detrimental overfishing.
For the American consumer, this has a few important outcomes. For one, better tasting, fresher fish is more likely to reach your dinner table and two, prices may be a bit higher than in previous years. In our opinion, this is a worthwhile trade-off.