New England Fisheries

Supporting Local Seafood During and After COVID-19

Photo credit: Joachim S. Mueller.

These are unprecedented times, and we hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. Among all of us trying to adapt our lives and livelihoods during the time of COVID-19 are New England’s fishermen.

With the closure of restaurants and loss of domestic and international markets, local fishermen have needed to be innovative in how they sell their fish. And while the current times are difficult for many reasons, we are also presented with the opportunity to rethink the norm.

Recently, National Fisherman’s Jessica Hathaway virtually sat down with Ben Martens, executive director of Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association to discuss how the organization has helped set up direct fisherman to consumer markets to promote local seafood during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The key take-home message from the interview is that we should maintain the momentum behind these markets post-COVID-19 and beyond. As Martens discusses in the interview, a great way to spend time while stuck at home is to cook more with family. So why not try a new seafood recipe?

Of course, while supporting local seafood, it’s important to make sure that those fish come from a healthy, well-managed population.

In addition to the advice for consumers, Martens also offers advice for fishermen who want to pursue direct to consumer markets. Most importantly, a fisherman should have a business plan and the proper permits in place because the data that’s produced is important for management.

We encourage you to watch the full interview below. Maybe you’ll even find yourself inspired to try your hand at a homemade fish chowder!

This interview was shared with permission from National Fisherman. The original post is available here.


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