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Coronavirus lockdown turns seafood into boat-to-table service

Fishermen are following coronavirus safety guidelines to distribute product in a low-demand market

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U.S. seafood is floundering under coronavirus pressure due to the disruption in China trade and low market demand, according to New Hampshire Community Seafood General Manager Andrea Tomlinson.

For fishermen to continue distributing their product, Tomlinson told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo that New Hampshire fisheries are allowing customers to purchase fresh catches right off the dock while following all safety precautions.

“What we're primarily doing is promoting lobstermen who are selling directly from their boat,” Tomlinson said. “But what we're talking about is… a product that's really only touched one gloved hand, which would be the hand of the sternman… And then it's going directly to the consumer. So, you know, when you think about the amount of hands that a typical piece of food has traveled through, the risk here as far as safety is minimal.”

CORONAVIRUS PROMPTS PUBLIX TO BUY EXCESS FOOD FROM FARMERS FOR DONATIONS

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Tomlinson said the industry is feeling the pressure since 90 percent of American seafood is imported. Most seafood caught in the U.S., she explained, is first exported to China for processing and then shipped back to the states.

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“We don't have Americans eating local seafood… so there's a huge trade deficit,” she said. “The American palate for seafood is still kind of stuck on those top four — canned tuna, salmon, shrimp and tilapia. So the majority of those products are imported."

New Hampshire Community Seafood continues to promote eating local by offering seafood share memberships to customers.

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