U.S. Seafood Industry and For-Hire Impacts from COVID-19: 2020 in Perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic caused large scale disruption to the U.S. economy and global markets in 2020. As states implemented a suite of social distancing measures in March 2020 to restrict the spread of the virus, large segments of the economy shutdown causing gross domestic product (GDP) to contract 9.03% in the second quarter relative to the previous year. The contraction was so severe that a recession was declared for March and April 2020. As states began to relax restrictions, the decline in GDP tapered but remained negative in both the third (-2.8%) and fourth quarter (-2.4%). This report provides a snapshot of the effects of COVID- 19 on the seafood industry (commercial harvesters, aquaculture, seafood dealers and processors) and forhire fishing sector for 2020. As documented herein, the impacts to the seafood industry and for-hire sector were immediate, more severe and more long-lasting than those incurred in most other sectors of the economy.
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