Oregon Sea Grant Uses Survey Results to Help Seafood Industry Amid COVID-19

CORVALLIS, Ore. – When COVID-19 initially struck Asia, many fisheries in Oregon lost their export markets in late January 2020 because of canceled Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. Prices for Dungeness crab stagnated at a time when they normally would be rising.

When the virus spread to the West Coast, Oregon’s seafood industry felt shock waves immediately. Most Americans eat seafood in restaurants, and Oregon’s “Stay at Home, Save Lives,” orders shuttered in-person dining in March. Some vessels cut their seasons short.

Amid this backdrop, a trio of faculty with Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon State University Extension Service went to work. Amanda Gladics, Angee Doerr and Jamie Doyle designed an electronic survey that was in the field from April 22 to June 1 and that aimed to understand how the pandemic was affecting seafood harvesters, processors and retailers.

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