Tilapia plays a big role in Beaver Street Fisheries’ recently expanded Sea Best Seasoned Selections line. Lemon & Pink Peppercorn Tilapia is one of three new items included in the line, featuring two-serving portions of pre-seasoned finfish and shellfish packaged in microwavable/oven-safe containers.

But rising prices are making tilapia — America’s fifth most-popular seafood species — more difficult to source, according to Adam and Steven Frisch of Beaver Street Fisheries.

On Tuesday at the European Seafood Exposition, the brothers talked about the impact of rising tilapia prices and the need to introduce additional species as the family-owned Jacksonville, Fla., company continues to grow. And pangasius, they said, is one species that holds a lot of promise in the U.S. market, due, in part, to American consumers’ preference for inexpensive, mild whitefish.

“A lot of customers are switching [from other species] to pangasius,” said Adam Frisch. “And once a big retailer like Walmart takes on a fish like [pangasius], that’s all it takes to raise consumer awareness of the species,” he said.

Though tilapia prices are increasing, so are prices of other key species due to rising commodity and fuel costs. “It’s the perfect storm for rising seafood prices right now,” said Adam Frisch.

But Beaver Street is confident that it can ride out higher seafood prices, and its customers understand the reality of the global seafood trade. “Tough times never last, but tough people do,” said Steven Frisch.

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