It's been quite a month. And not in a good way. Escalating impacts from the coronavirus dominated headlines, as a line was drawn separating those set to suffer devastating losses and those on the luckier end of the scale.
While it's still very challenging to make predictions for future outcomes, Editor-in-Chief Drew Cherry's column scooped top reads in March for attempting to give some kind of longer term analysis, as he outlined his views on the 9 ways coronavirus is changing seafood forever.
Other members of the IntraFish editorial team also offered up well-read analysis on the topic, with John Fiorillo giving some grim statistics on the US foodservice sector, Rachel Mutter presenting the case for a hugely expanded online retail presence and Demi Korban suggesting the pandemic impacts reflect some more general leanings of the millennial generation.
To further John's point in underlining the current precarious state of the US seafood industry, companies including Trident, Pacific Seafood, High Liner, Cargill, Cooke and Fortune International wrote to the Trump administration requesting urgent support in light of the outbreak, a call that was to some extent answered with potentially $300 million set aside for the sector in a US government stimulus package announced later that week.
Reflecting the dire spread of the virus in the United States, the Boston seafood show was postponed last month. The question now is whether or not the rescheduled show will go ahead as planned, with the event's expo center being lined up for use as a temporary field hospital during the crisis.
Foodservice in the UK is also taking a big hit and we reported last month how the UK's 10,000 fish and chips shops were urged to close, just days after those in the industry told IntraFish they feared the worst. And on the same theme, Danish whitefish processor Espersen stopped filet-o-fish production at its McDonald's plant as the foodservice giant shut down outlets across Europe.
Financial markets have also been suffering, and as global stock took a roller coaster ride in March, a whopping $2 billion was wiped off value of farmed salmon producers in massive single-day sell-off, and other production sectors around the world also reflected a building fear, with the biggest shrimp supplier to the United States, the Indian shrimp sector, revealing an eerie calm before the inevitable storm.
In more positive news, we saw how other production industries have been tentatively rescued by government measures, with the Chinese government implementing supply chain stimuli to encourage shrimp and tilapia stocking and stave off a domino-like collapse.
We also reported how some parts of the industry are reaping benefits from the current crisis with retail suppliers and private-label both appearing to be possible winners. Although, as the Nomad CEO points out, keeping this new customer base after the crisis subsides will be the big challenge facing that particular part of the sector.
Not usually one for sub-heading our round-ups, this month it felt necessary. Because despite the chaos, the world keeps turning, although not necessarily in good ways.
Non-coronavirus trouble reared its head in the shape of a monster storm that lost Faroese salmon giant Bakkafrost 1 million of its fish. On land, too, salmon producers got struck with a spate of bad luck, as Atlantic Sapphire's Danish farm lost thousands of fish to a gas imbalance in its tanks.
But, while fish are being lost, executives are still doing OK as our round-up of how much Mowi's management earned revealed.
And land-based aquaculture continued to attract capital -- although not always as much as hoped -- with one of the most interesting new projects being a massive new land-based salmon project in North America backed by the ex-Akva CEO and his partners.
Finally, in a headline guaranteed to capture readers' attention, Mowi and Google parent Alphabet unveiled plans to roll out a massive project to bring artificial intelligence to salmon farming.
But this is literally a mere taster of what we covered last month. Subscribe here for full indepth coverage and analysis of the seafood sector and make sure your business is prepared in these unprecedented times.