Last week's top stories on IntraFish reflected an increasingly visceral impact from the coronavirus pandemic, with the most severe repercussions seen by the foodservice supply chain.
Perhaps most drastic of this news was the warnings sounded by analysts on US seafood restaurant chain Red Lobster, which has seen earnings tumble and is undoubtedly causing concern for investors Thai Union and Golden Gate Capital. The analysis prompted Executive Editor John Fiorillo to ask whether the pandemic will kill casual dining seafood restaurants.
Further up the US foodservice supply chain, alarms were also sounding in the Indian shrimp industry, where producers are delaying summer stocking as they watch prices plunge and general logistics and processing chaos impact operations.
In the far north of the United States, too, coronavirus is making its mark felt where, despite no infections to date, the pandemic is upending the annual scramble for Alaska salmon fishery workers.
In more bad news, but for once not coronavirus-related, salmon producer Mowi was forced to cull 450,000 juvenile salmon at a Newfoundland hatchery after an outbreak of infectious salmon anemia affected 14 fish.
In better news, tipping the coronavirus scale the other way for the seafood sector is the increasing rise of retail, with analysts at Sparebank 1 predicting "unprecedented retail demand" for salmon as the coronavirus crisis spurs home consumption.
Retailers picking up slack left by the closure of restaurants is a theme we have covered in several stories in recent weeks and was this week further backed by UK processor JCS Fish, who has seen a sharp increase in frozen business since the onset of the coronavirus crisis.
But it is not just salmon. Surimi too has exploded at retail with sales over the four weeks to March 22 up 20 percent, Lou Shaheen, vice president of sales and marketing for US-based Trans-Ocean Products, told IntraFish.
One thing is clear: Change is being forced to happen fast in the seafood industry. But those, according to BioMar CEO Carlos Diaz, that respond most quickly and show agility will undoubtedly come out the winners in the new landscape.