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'Shrimp shortage' set to spoil Swedes' New Year

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'Shrimp shortage' set to spoil Swedes' New Year
13:47 CET+01:00
Seafood features prominently on many a Swede's New Year's menu, but harsh winds on Sweden's west coast have made fishing difficult recently, sending shrimp and crayfish prices sky high.

Fish counters around the country have far lower supplies of the popular seafoods than usual, just as shoppers are gearing up to buy and prepare their festive New Year's dinners.

A kilo of shrimp may set revelers back 500 kronor ($72), more than twice the usual price.

The high prices have fish retailers concerned that many Swedes may opt out of serving sea food for dinner on New Year's Eve.

"It's a shame. For all those who had planned to eat shrimp and crayfish it's looking very tough. We're searching high and low, and may get a small selection, but unfortunately it won't be very cheap for New Year's," said fish retailer Nisse Molinder of Melanders fisk, to Sveriges Radio (SR).

The reason for the shortage are the series of storm that have battered Sweden's west coast with fierce winds, making it nearly impossible for fishing boats to leave the harbour in search of the popular crustaceans.

"This is an enormous loss of income," fisherman Peter Olsson told SR.

"This week is important. We want to deliver high-quality Swedish goods for New Year's celebrations, but it doesn't look like we'll succeed this year."

One option for sea food fanatics is to opt for a Swedish lobster for New Year's dinner instead.

Large amounts of lobster were caught earlier in the season, and are now lying on ice, ready to be prepared as a festive meal.

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