ME - Demand for Maine seafood plummets

For decades, lobster has been the symbol of Maine’s fishing industry, but at the moment the microscopic coronavirus is taking center stage.

As recently as Feb. 27, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state. By noon Wednesday, the CDC reported 142 confirmed cases in Maine and the state was on virtual lockdown. All those who could work from home were staying away from their offices, “non-essential” businesses were shuttered and bars and restaurants were closed except for takeout and delivery business.

While the economic news has been bad for all sectors of the economy, the fishing industry has been particularly hard-hit.

On March 20, Governor Janet Mills wrote to President Donald Trump seeking “immediate assistance” for the Maine fishing industry. Harvesters, she said, “have only limited opportunities within their communities to sell small quantities … in hopes to earn just enough money to buy weekly necessities.” Likewise, she said dealers and processors reported there were “no markets for the product already in inventory.”

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