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How COVID-19 Is Making The Price of This Food Skyrocket

Restaurant closures and social distancing mean high prices of this popular food.
seafood assortment

Don't go fishing for low seafood prices at grocery stores. Like other items such as meat, flour, cheese, and eggs, prices are high right now, and they may not come down any time soon.

A majority of seafood sold goes to restaurants. Because they all closed or switched to takeout only because of stay-at-home orders, demand went down significantly and fishermen stopped going out to gather fresh seafood. Unfortunately, they can't get back out at a normal rate overnight after restaurants started to reopen, so seafood prices went up. Although they have dropped a little over 30%, it could still take a while to bounce back, according to Restaurant Business.

Related: The Single Worst Grocery Store Mistake You Shouldn't Make During Reopening

A lot of seafood comes from remote areas that are struggling because of the coronavirus. One Brooklyn, New York-based winemaker/salmon fisherman told the New York Times that he is fearful to make his yearly trip to Naknek, Alaska to haul in the catch for his Iliamna Fish Company because of where the town is. The Spanish flu caused widespread suffering throughout the state in 1918, and some other fishermen have opted to sit this season out.

"I have never felt more reluctant to leave New York," Christopher Nicolson told the newspaper. "I'm not as concerned about my own family as much as my extended family and the community I'm coming into. I can't be cavalier, but I need to balance that with the necessity to keep my family eating, paying the mortgage, you know?"

Alaska requires social distancing, and anyone who travels into the state has to quarantine. At the beginning of the pandemic, cruises were canceled. This kept the number of cases down, but like other states, they have begun to rise again just as the summer fishing season starts. This normally brings in about 10,000 people just to the area around Naknek and thousands more to other areas of the state.

It's hard to say whether prices will lower anytime soon since some restaurants are closing again in states where cases are growing. To stay up-to-date on all coronavirus grocery news, sign up for our newsletter!

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a health and food writer and a certified yoga instructor. Read more