Coronavirus Disrupts Shrimp Market As Commercial Season Nears

Mar 26, 2020

With the commercial crab season soon winding down, Oregon fishermen would normally be preparing for the shrimp harvest.  But Newport Mayor Dean Sawyer says that’s all in limbo, as the pink shrimp market’s been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pink shrimp.
Credit Oregon Department of Agriculture /

“Unfortunately, the price is dropping daily, and so a lot of these local fishermen just aren’t fishing anymore," Sawyer says. 

"Because of all the restaurants closing, not only here but Portland, Eugene, and across the country, the orders have dropped dramatically.

"That’s problematic for the fishermen, because if they don’t have the orders, then they know they can’t sell their fish when they bring it into port.”

Shrimpers working together.
Credit Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife / ODFW website

Sayer adds that restaurants in Newport - often prime buyers of coastal seafood - have cut staff by roughly 75 percent.

New COVID-19 guidelines require any fisherman or vessel crew member displaying symptoms is to be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard.

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