SEAFOOD INDUSTRY SINKING


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Restaurants, most of which remain shut to public traffic, made up about 70 percent of the U.S. seafood industry’s market. Although consumers are buying more fish at grocery stores to eat at home during the lockdowns – an increase of 40 percent, to $1.4 billion from early April through early May – it makes up for only a fraction of the industry’s loss.
Some of the seafood is being bought by Blue Apron and other eat-at-home meal kit purveyors. Some wholesalers have retooled their operations to make ready-to-eat fare; fishers and wholesalers are freezing as much as they can find room for.
A Philadelphia wholesaler recently dumped ten tons of shrimp and lobster worth $100,000 into a landfill.
Fifteen distributors contacted in April by the National Fisheries Institute said they will lose 40 percent of their annual revenue, totaling about $1.7 billion, if current conditions continue through the year.
Four out of five of the 500 fish farms surveyed in March by the Virginia Technical Institute and Ohio State University said they could not survive the next six months without government aid or some other kind of outside help.

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