BRUNSWICK, Maine — The fallout from the new coronavirus, COVID-19, hit Maine's seafood market slightly earlier than other businesses in the state. The Chinese markets dried up while trying to stop the spread of the new coronavirus and now restaurants in Maine are closed following an executive order this week. A collaboration between fishermen and farmers has been delivering their fresh catch right to Mainers' dooryards.
It was a complete overhaul of operations for Mere Point Oyster Company in Brunswick. Operational partner Dan Devereaux says they started preparing to diversify their business model in January.
"We were just gearing up to the growing season, like all the other farmers along the coast," said Devereaux. "This is when working water people put in a lot of effort and financial resources into their operations to get ready for a busy summer. Whether you are a mooring hauler or a lobsterman or of shore fisherman you are gearing up for the season."
Now, Mere Point Oyster Company is trying out delivery service and is teaming up with other fishermen and businesses to offer customers a one-stop shopping experience. Oysters, clams, scallops, little necks, mussels, and other shellfish are ready to be dropped off.
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“If you're in your house and you are locked in there you are going to be able to get food because the food producers, whether it be the farmers, or the fishermen, or the oystermen, or the shellfish farmers or the clam diggers, they are going to get you your food," said Devereaux. "[It] gives people a sense of ease during troubling times like right now.”
Mere Point Oyster is delivering in the Brunswick area, Harbor Fish Market is servicing the Portland area, and Nonesuch Oyster in Scarborough has a similar operation. Emily’s Oysters delivers within 30 miles of Freeport and even offers free shucking lessons.
Devereaux tells NEWS CENTER Maine the silver lining with all of this is there might be a better connection between locals, and their fishermen and farmers.
If you know a seafood supplier or business that is delivering during COVID-19 disruption, send it into Clay.Gordon@newscentermaine.com
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus