Winter weather causing shellfish shortage at local seafood restaurants

The recent subfreezing temperatures have affected a number of businesses, including seafood restaurants.

Your bouillabaisse, paella, and other shellfish dishes may be missing several key ingredients over the next few days. And the popular mussel pots will be few and far between at restaurants in the D.C. region.

There are a handful of oysters, but not a clam in sight at the ProFish warehouse in Northeast D.C.

Lobster is running at a premium and there is a shortage of mussels as well.

Icy waters along the East Coast have led to a historic shellfish shortage.

"This is unbelievably extraordinary," said Glenn Casten of ProFish. "We've never been without mussels. We've never been without clams. I've been with the company for 23 years and I've never seen this."

He explained the problem to us.

"Due to the extremely cold winter, all of the mussel areas in Prince Edward Island are frozen over and they are not able to get to the growing areas that harvest the mussels," he said.

Some restaurants have been without clams all week. At Belga Cafe in Barracks Row, their most popular dish of mussels was gone halfway through Friday night dinner service.

Restaurant managers say West Coast distributors are also denying orders with all the requests from our area depleting their supplies as well.

And it is not just shellfish. The Chesapeake Bay is also frozen. Ice along the Maryland and Delaware waterways has made it impossible for rockfish boats to operate.

For now, restaurant-goers will have to roll with it and take the opportunity to try something new.