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Fishermen Say Possible Meat Shortage Unlikely To Benefit Fishing Industry

BOSTON (CBS) - For decades, the New England fishing industry has been on its heels. But now, there may a shortage of meat soon after several of the nation's largest processing plants have been slowed due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus has affected New England's fishing industry, just like other businesses. (WBZ-TV)

So, does a shortage of meat translate to a "windfall" for local fishermen? Roger Berkowitz, the owner of Legal Seafoods, said there are so many different factors that play into it. "If meat plants have been impacted, maybe we should stimulate the fishing industry to get more of this product out of the water," he said, adding that because of federal regulations restricting catch amounts, the fish are there, but retailer markets are shut down.

"Ninety-five percent of the pollock, also haddock, has not been taken," he said. "So in terms of regulation, we can utilize this." haddock." 

Berkowitz said the fishermen need some government stimulus money to encourage them to go out and fish.

Andrea Tomlinson, of New Hampshire Community Seafood, said the virus has impacted the fishing business like everything else and fisherman and lobstermen are worried about their markets this summer.

"We're looking down the pike at a real issue of demand, local demand. I think it's an opportune time for Americans to really make some more conscious decisions on what they do eat for seafood and really investigating where the origin of their seafood is coming from."

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