After a whirlwind tour through the cities and fisheries of southern Louisiana a couple weeks back, it's clear to me that the flow of misinformation and apprehension about the quality of the seafood coming from the Gulf of Mexico has been far more detrimental to the industry that the oil itself. Louisiana is a fishing powerhouse. Their fisheries—a three billion-dollar-a-year industry—provide over 30% of the nation's oyster supply. Their blue crab production is greater than that of the more well-known Chesapeake bay (indeed, Louisiana actually exports crabs to Maryland to be served, no doubt, on menus offering Maryland Blue Crab).
Tasting my way through cities like Lake Charles, Houma, New Iberia, and New Orleans, it's clear that seafood is the heart and soul of the Cajun and Creole cuisine of the area—indeed, for a solid five days, I had blue crab in some form or another at every single meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) not to mention copious amounts of local shrimp, oysters, fish, and crawfish.