Amidst the “seafood crash of 2020,” which was caused by a perfect storm of export shutdowns, COVID-19 lockdown, and government regulation changes, the fishermen have experienced a crash more devastating than they have seen in years.
The United Fishermen Foundation has taken charge, connecting fishermen with thousands of local consumers across the state of Maine, who are looking for both fresh food and to help a fisherman and their family. They are executing this via an interactive map on their website, https://unitedfishermenfoundation.com/find-a-fishermen, directing folks to nearby fishermen, selling lobster, scallops, clams, halibut, crabs, scallops and more.
UFF has also jumped into action to help fishermen implement this new direct-sales business model. Once a career that stayed on the water, fishing is now a much different job where new skills are required for communicating with buyers and marketing themselves as a local business.
The UFF training programs allows fishermen to learn more about grading, packing, shipping, marketing, selling regulations, creating relationships with businesses and consumers, harvest diversification (aquaculture), and financial planning.
At UFF, our mission is to strengthen the commercial fishing industry by educating, supporting, and empowering local fishermen.