Seafish is surveying the seafood processing industry to determine the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic Photo: SeafishSeafish is surveying the seafood processing industry to determine the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic Photo: Seafish

Seafish is conducting a survey to determine the financial and socioeconomic impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s seafood processing industry and to put together a profile of the sector.

Throughout July and August seafood processors are being asked to provide information on how the pandemic has affected their business. The survey also asks for financial data and information on operations and recruitment to determine the size and economic performance of the sector.

“Early returns from the survey show that, unsurprisingly, many seafood processing businesses had to reduce production or close down completely in response to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions,” said Ana Witteveen, economist at Seafish. “Sadly for some businesses the doors may never reopen, with smaller processors at particular risk of owners opting to wind down or retire early.”

However, Ana commented that many smaller processors were proving more agile with small workforces and family businesses in particular more able to implement new working methods and in many cases continue to work throughout. For larger processors, who may be more dependent on wholesale trade, a more gradual return to full operation was being seen.

Seafish will attempt to contact all UK seafood processing businesses and invite them to take part in a short phone call, and in some cases a subsequent online survey. The results will also be used by government to help determine policy.

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