Researchers at the Rutgers University Center for Fisheries and Ocean Sustainability are asking for fishermen’s help conducting a study of how the covid-19 pandemic is affecting them and their livelihoods on the East Coast between Maine and North Carolina.

The anonymous online survey will help scientists report on economic and other effects of the covid-19 crisis, which has slashed seafood sales and fishermen’s incomes across the board.

The project is organized by Victoria Ramenzoni, and assistant professor of human ecology at the center on Rutger’s Cook College campus in New Brunswick, N.J.

"There are many media reports of fishermen suffering devastating losses as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and associated market changes and required social distancing measures,” said Ramenzoni in a statement publicizing the study. “We want to hear from fishermen themselves about how they've been impacted, what support they're receiving, and how they're adapting".

All commercial fishermen (including vessel owners, captains, and crew) in the Northeast US (North Carolina through Maine) are invited to complete the 15 minute anonymous survey online here: https://rutgers.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1MiTWJDQDt4atTf

The survey will remain open until May 31.

“You will be asked to answer several questions about your recent experiences with fisheries and about changes to your fishing practices since the start of the covid-19 pandemic,” according to the study’s online consent form. “The information will be anonymously collected. No one will know which responses are yours. Your participation in the study will be about 15-20 minutes. We anticipate 250 subjects will take part in the study.”

Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been a field editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for almost 25 years. 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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