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As summer arrives, seafood prices climb

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Higher prices are the story on seafood menus across the area, just in time for the summer tourism season. Seafood markets and restaurants alike agree it's a combination of a shorter supply partly due to the Gulf oil spill as well as higher demand with the onset of summer.

High demand has resulted in higher prices for all seafood, but especially for oysters. Many of the main oyster beds in the gulf of mexico have been closed due to the ongoing oil spill leaving restaurants to scramble for replacements. The ones that are left come at a higher price, sometimes twice as much. The result? Higher prices on menus for seafood lovers.

"It's been a little bit stressful because of supply and demand," said Louise Forbes, the co-owner of Dock Street Oyster Bar. "We went through two stressful weeks where it was difficult to locate oysters, and then when we did locate them it was double the price that we were typically paying. So we changed our menu to accommodate the fluctuation in pricing which means that oysters are market price now."

While the past two weeks have been tough ones to maintain supply, it seems that prices are beginning to level off. Looking ahead to the summer, restaurant owners are optimistic they'll be able to keep their regular offerings on their menus for their costumers. However, it's hard to say just how much customers will have to fork out for their oysters, crab legs and catch of the day.

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