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Commercial fishermen depend on restaurants to survive.

Keith Decker, President of Blue Harvest Fisheries in New Bedford, says demand for seafood is down by 65-percent, and much of that is because many restaurants closed down at the beginning of the crisis.

Decker says blue and yellow fin tuna have been hit hard. When their last tuna vessel came in right after the coronavirus shock, "there were no buyers for the fish. That market dried up to zero." The company inevitably had to sell off the fish for a fraction of its price or freeze it.

And while it’s unlikely high end sushi restaurants will be opening up anytime soon, some fishermen are hopeful. Wayne Reichle, owner of a scallop fishery in New Bedford, says there could be an uptick in demand for less expensive seafood. 

"Restaurants are starting to re-open after they figured out they could do customer pick-up or home delivery," Reichle says. "It’s taken two or three weeks but people sort of figured out how to continue supplying meals and keeping fresh seafood in the supply chain." 

New Bedford is home to the country’s largest commercial fishing port, handling a million pounds of seafood a day, much of which ends up in restaurants across the globe.