Eat Oregon Seafood campaign promotes industry impacted by pandemic
Although Oregon’s restaurants re-opened in the summer of 2020 – with social distancing and indoor face covering measures – earlier mandatory statewide closures due to COVID-19 sent Oregon’s $700 million seafood industry scrambling to find new markets. The majority of the seafood that Oregonians eat is served in restaurants, so the sharp decrease in seafood sales between March and May significantly impacted the state’s marine commercial fishing operations.
To understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Oregon’s seafood industry, Oregon Sea Grant Extensionconducted a survey of harvesters, processors, retailers and integrated businesses. Nearly every respondent – 95% – reported that they or their business had already been impacted by COVID-19. In response, Sea Grant Extension fisheries specialists partnered with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon seafood industry on an initiative called Eat Oregon Seafood. They created a webpage and a promotional campaign on social media that features the hashtag #EatOregonSeafood.
In addition to showing where to buy local seafood via an interactive map, the webpage offers tips on when and what types of seafood to purchase and how to freeze, smoke and prepare it at home. It also has a growing collection of recipes for home chefs.