The National Marine Fisheries Service and the University of Florida are conducting a second national telephone survey of fishermen, seafood dealers and processor to assess the effects of covid-19 during the second half of 2020.

A report on findings from the first survey reported the pandemic crushed industry revenues by a combined 29 percent from March into July, as the seafood industry reeled from U.S. restaurant closures and export markets drying up.

University of Florida researchers are working with NMFS on the project, and organizers urge fishermen to be on the lookout for calls coming to their phones from the Florida 352 area code.

“Phone survey participants were selected using carefully designed random sample. If you were selected, you will receive a phone call from the University of Florida with a 352 area code,” according to a statement Friday from NMFS. “Your response is very important to the success of this survey. It will take less than 10 minutes, and the information you provide is strictly confidential.

“The phone survey is a follow-up to a survey conducted during July/August 2020 on economic impacts for the first half of 2020. The upcoming survey will assist us in assessing impacts on individual businesses over the entire calendar year.”

Findings from the survey will inform decisionmakers at NMFS, the Department of Commerce, members of Congress, regional fishery management councils, state fisheries managers and industry stakeholders.

When added to findings reported Jan. 15, survey results will lead to public reports “detailing the revenue losses and recovery of fishing-dependent businesses over the past year,” according to NMFS.

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Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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