Seafood industry visa fix in question after virus outbreak

Few flounder filets left at one local seafood market. (Photo: WWAY)

WASHINGTON (AP) — With the aid of lawmakers, seafood businesses in Maryland, Virginia, Alaska and North Carolina last month won federal approval of an additional 35,000 visas for non-immigrant workers, but the timing couldn’t have been worse.

Within days, the coronavirus pandemic began shutting down businesses, including restaurants and retail outlets the seafood industry supplies.

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Some seafood operations let employees go, while others have hired fewer people than they would in a more typical season.

John Martin, owner of the Martin Fish Co. in Ocean City, Maryland, told Capital News Service that due to the virus, Martin Fish has been able to open its retail store.