Shortage of fish causes high prices and cancels Lenten fries

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Supply chain issues and fish price inflation have hit local businesses and area fish fries hard.

West Catholic High School president and CEO Cynthia Kneibel said she won’t be offering her annual Friday fish fries this year due to both rising product prices and shortages. .

“We usually buy our fish in the summer,” Kneibel said. “Then we are allowed to keep the fish where we buy it, in a storage facility.”

This year, there were not enough fish to meet West Catholic’s demand. The alternative would have been to buy a more expensive lake perch, which Kneibel said he could not afford.

“We looked forward to that sense of community but, again, Catholic schools operate on very tight margins. You cannot risk losing money.

Fish Lads seafood market owner Jeff Butzow said some of his products have held steady over the past year. While other fish, such as ahi tuna, have soared.

“I’m still doing business as usual, things just cost more,” Butzow said. “Unfortunately, on top of something that already costs a lot of money.”

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, fish prices have risen more than 10% over the past year. While local suppliers told News 8 they had seen an increase of more than 25%.

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Grand Rapids is just one of many parishes that have transitioned from in-person dining to drive-thru options this Lenten season.

Kneibel said small orders from local parishes are your best bet for active fried fish this year. Organizers at the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary said they had to buy their entire Lenten supply in one order to secure a locked fish price. Belmont Parish is open Fridays for in-person dining.

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