Seafood Industry Struggling to Stay Afloat Amid Outbreak

PORTLAND, Maine — The seafood industry has been upended by the spread of the coronavirus, which has halted sales in restaurants and sent fishermen and dealers scrambling for new markets.

Seafood is a global industry that relies on a complex network of fishermen, processors, buyers and distributors, all of which have been affected by the virus. A lack of demand has sent prices tumbling and led some fishermen to tie up their boats until the outbreak subsides.

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are calling on the Trump administration and Congress to help them weather the uncertain time. But for now, the market for big-money items such as scallops and lobster is “pretty much nonexistent,” said Bert Jongerden, general manager of the Portland Fish Exchange, a Maine auction house.

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