COVID-19 Impact on the fisheries sector in the North Atlantic

COVID-19 Impact on the fisheries sector in the North Atlantic

The report highlights key changes in the fisheries sector in the North Atlantic region as a consequence of and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Changes:

  • The collapse of the hotel, restaurant and catering sector leading to the collapse of the market high value ‘restaurant species’, such as lobster, shrimp, halibut and turbot.
  • There are difficulties in maintaining exports because of reduction in demand and logistical problems. This caused either a diversion of product into domestic markets or pressure on cold store facilities.
  • There has been a significant increase in home consumption of fish, but with a preference for prepacked, packaged, canned and frozen products. Demand for fresh/chilled fish has declined.
  • There has been a marked increase in direct business to customer sales using e-commerce and social media. This change is likely to become permanent. Direct boat to consumer sales has the potential to cause compliance issues.
  • Although the demand for processed and packaged fish products has increased, social distancing and logistical issues have increased production costs.
  • The lack of demand in the Far East for farmed Atlantic salmon has been offset by increased demand for processed products using salmon in Europe.
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