COVID-19’s impact on commercial fisherman

Restaurant shutdowns amid COVID-19 have choked off the market for seafood. However, the watermen along the eastern shore are dealing with other challenges too.

Commercial fisherman David Confair states that when COVID-19 first hit, the market fell out and he could not ship or sell fish anywhere, but now it looks like the market is coming back. He goes on to say that sometimes it is not worth getting out of bed.

“Scared to leave the house to go out and go to work because you got to stop and get gas and your bait,” he said. “You feel safe out in the river but you still have to get all the supplies to go.”

John Milligan, with the Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fisherman’s Association, has another fear:

“Our fear now is when they do come on and large amounts of crab hit the markets, traditionally the price drops... and it’s not just the fisherman that it affects,” he said.

According to the USDA website, they are currently asking those individuals involved in aquaculture to provide information about how the coronavirus has impacted their industry.