High gasoline prices hurt fishing and boating industries
GALVESTON, Texas — High gas prices are driving up the cost of boat rentals and charters, leaving boat captains like Cody Kenney of Galveston Deep Sea Charters in Texas with two choices: cancel charters that aren’t profitable or increase ticket prices.
“We just have to charge more, because if you look, if you have a small tank, 20 or 30 gallons, it’s only a small increase, but if you have 3, 4 or 500 gallons you burn in one single trip, that’s a big change,” Kenney said.
Nello Cassarino runs the Galveston Shrimp Company, and he says the increases aren’t just affecting the tourism industry.
“Everything we do involves fuel. From our fishing boats to our trucks that deliver product, everything we use to run our business, we’re seeing at least a 35% increase, and even more in some categories” , Cassarino said. He thinks that passing these prices on to the consumer is not a reliable option.
“The consumer, at some point, will stop buying it. It turns into a ripple effect where factories have to start laying off employees, trucks stop moving. That’s not a good thing. “, added Cassarino.
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According to the US Energy Information Administration, the price of diesel has nearly doubled in the past two years, from an average of $2.40 per gallon in 2020 to over $4 per gallon this year.
Kenney said Galveston Deep Sea Charters has a plan to keep prices low. It replaces the engines of the company’s boats.
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“Having these new engines, more fuel efficient engines, in the boat is very important to us,” Kenney added.
When it comes to the seafood industry, Cassarino said the solution isn’t that simple — and customers will soon see more of the trickle-down effect of high fuel consumption.
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“Eventually you will see empty shelves. The boats will stop coming out because they can’t afford it. Even if the boats come out, the prices would be so high that the consumer won’t buy it. Once the consumer stops buying it so there’s no incentive for a grocery store to sell it,” Cassarino warned.
The US Department of Agriculture reported that fish and seafood prices rose 1.3% in January. They should increase between 3.5% and 4.5% on average by the end of the year.