There are almost 6,000 restaurants registered in MarketMaker that serve fish and shellfish products. When the search was limited to Mississippi only, the number of seafood restaurants was 127.
Results of a mail survey of 1,500 randomly selected eating and drinking places operating in Mississippi provided insights on the seafood species served by these establishments. Almost 300 full-service and limited-service restaurants operating in Mississippi participated in the survey. The results of the survey showed that more than two-thirds of the participating restaurants served seafood products. The average annual seafood purchases by participating restaurants exceeded $50,000 per establishment. Participating establishments were generally small or medium-sized businesses.
The lists of fish and shellfish species preferred by seafood restaurants show that the most important species are harvested from the state and federal waters or grown in fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico states. The leading foodfish species purchased by the participating establishments was catfish followed by tilapia, salmon, tuna and snapper (Table 1). The second group of fish species purchased by participating restaurants included flounder, mahi-mahi, grouper, cobia and red drum.
Shrimp was the top shellfish species purchased by the participating establishments trailed by oysters, crawfish, scallops and blue crab (Table 2). The second cluster of shellfish species purchased by participating seafood restaurants included snow crab, lobsters, squid, mussels and clams.