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Federal report says pandemic hit seafood industry hard

The coronavirus pandemic has taken away about a third of the commercial fishing industry’s revenue, according to a federal report released January 15.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said revenues from catch brought to the docks by commercial fishermen fell 29% over the course of the first seven months of the year. Revenues declined every month from March to July, including a 45% decrease in July, the report said.

The NOAA report said the seafood industry at large has been hit hard by restaurant closures, social distancing protocols and the need for safety measures. NOAA’s findings back up earlier reports from independent scientists that said seafood harvesting and consumption were both down.

NOAA’s report also said 74% of aquaculture and related businesses experienced lost sales by the second quarter of 2020. International markets were also negatively affected by disruptions to seafood harvesting, shipping and processes, the report said.

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