Presentation Title

COVID-19's Effects on the Fishing Industry

Presenter's Name(s)

Jill Levine, UVMFollow

Abstract

COVID-19’s Effects on the Fishing Industry

The United State’ fishing industry has seen major shifts in consumer demand since last March, when COVID-19 forced the world to shut down. This affected all parts of the seafood supply chain. However, the effects on the fishermen and seafood processors is less well known. Fishermen and seafood workers have been impacted by the pandemic in multiple ways given existing tight working quarters, seasonal work, and long hours. To address these concerns, we reviewed news articles to assess the various effects of COVID-19 on those that work in seafood. Here, we show the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of fishermen and seafood processors. The small corridors of the processing plants and shipping vessels make it difficult to socially distance on the job. With CDC mandates, they are assigned to smaller crews, which limit the risk of exposure, but result in longer hours and more physical taxation. The longer hours put pressure on the body, fatiguing and stressing these workers. This can lead to more accidents. Personal protection equipment has been limited on boats, and medical assistance is not readily available. Beyond that, fishermen are not paid well, and with processing plants shut down from exposure, it has been difficult to find places to dock and unload the boats. For every day spent on the boat searching for a place to dock, they are not paid. This research is crucial to figure out how to limit the exposure of coronavirus while also limiting the stress on the workers involved. It will set the foundation for future studies and to improve the workplace of fisherman and seafood processors.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Easton White

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Biology

Primary Research Category

Biological Sciences

Second College (optional)

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Second Program/Major

Forestry

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COVID-19's Effects on the Fishing Industry

COVID-19’s Effects on the Fishing Industry

The United State’ fishing industry has seen major shifts in consumer demand since last March, when COVID-19 forced the world to shut down. This affected all parts of the seafood supply chain. However, the effects on the fishermen and seafood processors is less well known. Fishermen and seafood workers have been impacted by the pandemic in multiple ways given existing tight working quarters, seasonal work, and long hours. To address these concerns, we reviewed news articles to assess the various effects of COVID-19 on those that work in seafood. Here, we show the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of fishermen and seafood processors. The small corridors of the processing plants and shipping vessels make it difficult to socially distance on the job. With CDC mandates, they are assigned to smaller crews, which limit the risk of exposure, but result in longer hours and more physical taxation. The longer hours put pressure on the body, fatiguing and stressing these workers. This can lead to more accidents. Personal protection equipment has been limited on boats, and medical assistance is not readily available. Beyond that, fishermen are not paid well, and with processing plants shut down from exposure, it has been difficult to find places to dock and unload the boats. For every day spent on the boat searching for a place to dock, they are not paid. This research is crucial to figure out how to limit the exposure of coronavirus while also limiting the stress on the workers involved. It will set the foundation for future studies and to improve the workplace of fisherman and seafood processors.