NOAA Documents Negative Impacts on Fishing from COVID-19

photo credit: Abie Raymond

NOAA Fisheries recently released economic impact figures caused by COVID-19 on the U.S. fishing and seafood industry, including wild harvest, aquaculture, and the recreational charter/for-hire sector. 

Most recreational charter operations were completely shut down in most coastal states beginning in mid-March and began a phased re-openings starting in May. NOAA estimated Southeast charter revenues, relative to the preceding 3-year period, fell 72 percent between March through April due to local and state COVID-related closures and protocols. In May-June, as businesses began to re-open, revenue was reported down 4.5 percent. With many tournaments having cancelled, 50 fewer highly migratory species tournaments registered in 2020 compared to the number registered in 2019. In Hawaii, where charter fishing depends almost entirely on tourism, the loss was estimated at 99% of business between April and July. TBF is aware from our international charter fishing members that they too have suffered significant economic losses due to Covid-19’s limitations on tourism. 

Revenue from U.S. commercial fish landings declined each month from March to July 2020 with a decrease in revenue ranging from 19 percent in March to 45 percent in July, or a 29 percent decrease overall in the revenue from commercial fish landings January through July 2020. 

The report and region-specific snapshots are available online on NOAA Fisheries’ website:

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