Shrimp unlikely in local waters until late June

Shrimp is included in the HCG diet, which promises that dieters can lose 40 pounds in 40 days. (Ross Hailey/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT)

Ross Hailey

There’s no Lowcountry shrimp to buy this spring season. Winter cold has killed the shellfish. The earliest any local shrimp might be available is late June.

The harvest problems couldn’t have come at a worse time. Other domestic and imported shrimp are costing more at the store because of a combination of factors such as high fuel prices, the Japanese tsunami and flooding in southern Thailand, where much of the shrimp imported to the United States is farmed.

One Lowcountry customer reported retail shrimp selling as high as $15 per pound. The best hope for local crustaceans right now is that brown shrimp, or summer shrimp, show up in enough numbers to open that season by late June.