A study on Covid-19 impacts on the brown crab supply chain has been released by the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products.

The study is based on publicly available literature, research, news articles and data, and contributions from stakeholders in the UK, Ireland, France and Norway.

In 2019, the Food and Agriculture Organisation reported a total global catch of 50,480t of brown crab. Sixty percent of this was caught by the UK. Other major catching nations are Ireland, Norway and France. Together, these four nations have accounted for 94% of total catches since 2010.

The researchers found that the pandemic affected crab sector stakeholders differently depending on their business model. Processors who had diversified sales to both retail and foodservice were better equipped to keep up sales when one market disappeared, as opposed to those who only sold to the foodservice sector. Many processors also had the advantage of being able to build inventory and postpone sales.

The effects of the pandemic were also found to differ between nations. In the UK, many crab fishers stopped fishing as prices were too low to cover costs. In addition, weather conditions caused a poor fishing season. However, Norwegian and French crab fishers were shielded from the full impact of Covid-19, as the largest Norwegian processor continued buying crab from fishers and demand during the peak season in France remained consistent.

The full report can be read here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.


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