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Seafood trade in Gulf of Mexico swamped by Ike and Gustav

September 29, 2008 | 10:20 am

The Associated Press surveys the damage done by this year's Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav, which is being felt among gulf seafood harvesters, distributors and restaurants:

On the eve of October's peak seafood harvesting season, migrant fishermen are sweeping debris from gutted bay-side homes instead of scooping shrimp and oysters from the Gulf of Mexico's lucrative floor. The $100-million fishing industry in Galveston Bay is nearly paralyzed.

Hurricane Ike's effect is being felt among gulf seafood harvesters, distributors and restaurants. Government and industry officials fear it will take as long as two years for the processing plants, boats and docks along the bay to recover and rebuild.

"It's like a bomb went off," said Lisa Halili, owner of Prestige Oysters Inc., which is among the largest seafood harvesters in Texas and Louisiana.

Read the full dispatch on the damage left by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav here.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City