The Maine Coast Fishermen's Association pooled resources to make a quick pivot as the covid-19 pandemic shut down the traditional supply chain for the state's fishermen.

I sat down with Ben Martens, the association's executive director, to talk about where we were before the shutdowns, what the organization and other local groups have done to make direct sales work for local fishermen, and what we can do to preserve these now diversified and local markets once the economy begins to return to normal.

In addition to launching and contributing to Facebook pages that connect fishermen to buyers — including the Maine Seafood Connection and Maine’s Working Waterfront Seafood Connect and Maine Fish Direct — the association has compiled a comprehensive resource page for industry stakeholders seeking help in any capacity during this pandemic — licensing, regulations, mental health, identifying covid-19 symptoms, stimulus opportunities and a lot more.

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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