NC commercial fishermen landed less seafood in 2020

Crabs (Cropped Photo: Courtesy of WPOPP / MGN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Commercial fishermen sold nearly 20% less fish and shellfish to North Carolina seafood dealers in 2020, a decline from the previous year that’s being blamed on the state’s stay-at-home order brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries says in a news release that commercial fishermen sold 42.9 million pounds of fish and shellfish last year, a decrease of 19% from 2019 and about a 23% decrease from the previous five-year average.

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The division says it heard from several fishermen who said they found it difficult to move blue crabs at the beginning of the stay-at-home order when many restaurants were closed.