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Coronavirus: How UK `fishing trade transformed to survive lockdown by Amy Gladwell August 09,2020   |  Source: BBC News

Some fishermen and women in the United Kingdom have said business has boomed since coronavirus forced them to transform their trade.

The industry has been hit hard by the pandemic with fish prices plummeting in March when lockdown began.

But some small-scale fishermen said their "saviour" was starting to sell direct to households via social media.

Some businesses also started using sheds and garages to process their catches after lockdown restrictions were introduced.

Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) said it helped 25 businesses to secure grants to diversify.

Sam Chapman, a shellfish wholesaler in Looe, Cornwall, would normally sell to restaurants. But they closed suddenly and he recalled a "terrifying time" of sleepless nights at the start of lockdown with a three week-old baby to support.

"About 80% of my customers shut their doors overnight... I was just about to do the same, until one of my friends asked me for £30 of mixed fish," he said.

"I then advertised this on our Facebook page and we never looked back."

Mr Chapman has continued delivering boxes alongside his wholesale accounts.

Austin Long, 37, and his father Stephen, lifelong Falmouth fishermen, said they also began selling on Facebook for the first time.

"A boat our size

 

© 2020 BBC

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