Coastal Conversations Radio Program: The Impact of COVID-19 on Fisheries and Aquaculture

Coastal Conversations show: April 24, 2020
WERU 89.9 in Blue Hill and 99.9 in Bangor
Host: Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant

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Today our show is about the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Maine’s fishermen and aquaculture farmers. Like so many small businesses, marine industries have been hit hard by the pandemic. National and global seafood markets for Maine fish and shellfish have almost entirely dried up, and people are scrambling for ways to keep their businesses afloat.

And yet, each of the people interviewed for this episode of Coastal Conversations talked about a silver lining: local markets for seafood have spiked in the last few weeks. Maine residents are all cooking and eating way more meals than usual at home, and increasingly, consumers are seeking out healthy, local foods. And so, the good news for our neighbors who make a living off the sea is that these direct seafood sales can help generate a little cash while larger markets are on hold.

On today’s show, we explore how our fishermen and shellfish farmers are faring right now, during the pandemic, what support is available to them, how they are getting product to market, and what they predict for the future of their livelihoods.


Joanna Fogg, Bar Harbor Oyster Company
Sebastian Belle and Afton Hupper, Maine Aquaculture Association
Marianne LaCroix, Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative
Ben Martens, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association

For More Information

Resources from Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association

Support Maine fishermen by buying Maine seafood
COVID-19 resources to help keep fishermen healthy and financially secure

Resources from Maine Aquaculture Association

Seafood directory

Resources from Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative


Resources Compiled by Maine Sea Grant

COVID-19 Resources for Coastal Communities and Industries

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Listen to the show on WERU archives
More information about Coastal Conversations Radio Program