Hurricane Ike has decimated the Gulf Coast's seafood industry, which will come as no surprise to anyone who's tried to order an oyster in recent days. Fisherman have been left jobless; distributors have been left without stock; and restaurants are stuck trying to find seafood from faraway places. And it means prices will keep going up, as folks keep running out. So says the man who helps run such Dallas eateries as Dallas Fish Market and Go Fish. --Robert Wilonsky
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Seafood prices are up $2 to $3 a pound, and shortages of shrimp, halibut and sea bass emerged in the first week after Ike, said Nafees Alam, vice president of Dallas Restaurant Group. Menus aren't changing, but South Prairie Oyster Bar owner Will Wickman said he hasn't seen a Gulf oyster at his suburban Fort Worth restaurant since Hurricane Gustav. His oysters now arrive from the northwest, and customers pay as much as $3 more a dozen.