Leading French supermarket chain Carrefour said it will offer price and volume guarantees to the country's fishermen suffering fallout from the coronavirus health crisis.

This comes after producers organization Les Pecheurs de Bretagne in the Britanny region, suspended its minimum-price guarantee at quayside auctions until further notice.

Vessels tied to ports in the northwestern region supply around half of fish found on French dinner plates.

Carrefour said it is committed to keeping its traditional full-service seafood counters open as much as it can. So far, other French supermarkets are doing likewise.

Stores forced to close their fish counters will pack products for sale in the self-service department, the company said.

Carrefour said it is committed to several fishmongers, including the Ocealliance group, to support French fishing by guaranteeing volumes and purchase prices on a dozen major species including mackerel, sardines, ling or whiting.

"While the fishing sector is strongly affected by the health crisis, half of whose outlets normally depend on catering, Carrefour wishes to provide support and visibility to an essential sector of the French food industry," the retailer said.

At the time of writing the global death toll among 373,000 cases had reached 16,300.

France accounted for 860 of the total lives lost.