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Seafood producers shift gears to adjust to coronavirus impact on markets

Postponed Boston seafood show creates further challenges for companies trying to reach alternative markets to Asia.

March 5, 2020   by Michael Tutton

HALIFAX — Fisheries entrepreneurs like Danny Dumaresque have to be nimble in their marketing efforts as the impact of the novel coronavirus flows through their Asian customer base and delays key trade shows.

The owner of Labrador Gem Seafood had counted on attending Seafood Expo North America in Boston this month, but learned Tuesday the event is being postponed due to concerns over the spread of the illness.

Dumaresque says he’s now flying to destinations in the US to meet with individual clients to ensure his recently developed sea urchin products have customers.

Until recently, Japan was his company’s main market.

But the novel coronavirus caused China to reduce its imports of sea urchins, resulting in a flood of the product into Japan from other nations.

Dumaresque says the March 4 announcement that the Boston seafood show is postponed until a future date creates further challenges for seafood producers trying to reach alternative markets to Asia.

He said the seasonal work at his processing plant in the island community of Ramea, NL, will depend on his success during costly and time-consuming trips to potential buyers in the US northeast.

The latest data show there have been more than 3,200 deaths and 94,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 spanning 74 countries. More than 80,000 of the cases come from China, but the number of infected in other countries continues to grow, including 33 cases in Canada.

 


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