Direct Seafood Sales

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collage of three images: man at the helm of a lobster boat, a crew member holding a lobster on the back deck of a boat, and a pile of freshly. harvested oysters

 

The Direct Seafood Sales guidance below has been compiled from credible sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NH Fish and Game, and National Sea Grant Network. As many members of New Hampshire's seafood industry shift to a direct sales model, the information and resources below provide Best Handling Practices to help support the health and safety of industry members and local seafood consumers. NH Sea Grant Extension created these resources based on feedback, questions, and requests we received.

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For Financial Assistance (CARES Act, federal, and state) and Health and Well-being (COVID-19, mental health, stress) resources, click here.


 

icon of a fish cartoon in an orange backgroundDirect Seafood Sales Guidance

The following information sheets have important guidance for seafood industry members preparing to conduct direct sales, including off-the-boat and dockside pick-up or delivery/drop-off. Please download, print, and share as appropriate! Plain text versions of the info sheets are available below in tabs.

icon of a fish cartoon in an orange backgroundPreparing for Direct Seafood Sales

If you are thinking about or planning to sell your seafood directly to consumers, review this guidance first. Downloadable/printable PDF versions of this information are available above.

All crew, dockhands, deckhands, and other personnel that directly harvest and handle seafood for sale off-the-boat should:

Check temperature at the beginning and end of each day.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath must be excluded from work and/or handling seafood products immediately.

Wash hands frequently.

Wear gloves! When handling/packing seafood for offload or delivery, minimize barehanded contact with food containers and bags. Always dispose of gloves in the trash.

Use a facemask and make sure it covers both your nose and mouth for it to be effective.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing. Sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue. Change gloves afterward and put in the trash. Wash hands properly before putting on new gloves.

Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces such as shovels, sorting equipment and tables, plastic crates and containers, and onboard refrigeration equipment, especially handles, and doors.


Credits: Information adapted and modified from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Louisiana Fisheries Forward/Louisiana Sea Grant’s “Fishing Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency.”

How to make a disinfectant solution:

STEP 1: Measure disinfectant solution and place in a bucket. If using a 1 gallon bucket, add the amount listed in the table below for “Volume to prepare 1 gallon.” If using a 5 gallon bucket, use 5 times the 1 gallon amount.

STEP 2:  Fill the rest of the bucket to the top with water.


Recommended concentrations to disinfect NON-FOOD surfaces for COVID-19:

Disinfectant Recommended Concentration Volume to prepare 1 gallon

Chlorine
(assuming 5.25% sodium hypochlorite in chlorine bleach)

800 ppm
(parts per million)
1/3 cup

Alcohol
(using 95% ethyl alcohol)

70% 3 quarts

 

Notes about disinfectants:

  • Recommended preparation is based on the most common concentration available.
  • Base your calculation on your disinfectant concentration.
  • Always follow manufacturer’s recommendations on the label for concentrations and contact times.
  • A more concentrated disinfectant does not necessarily result in more effective elimination of pathogens.

How to safely use alcohol to disinfect:

  • A 70% alcohol solution can be safely used as disinfectant if spraying surfaces at close range.
  • Do not mix alcohol with other disinfectants, such as bleach.
  • Do not use alcohol solution near an open flame.
  • Do not spray into the air, especially in a less ventilated area. 

The American Chemistry Council’s Center for Biocide Chemistries has created a list of pre-approved U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against  the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This product list is not exhaustive, but it is a guide for business owners, health professionals, and the public to identify products for use during the COVID-19 outbreak.  You can access the full list  by visiting the American Chemistry Council website (americanchemistry.com).


Credits: Information adapted and modified from Louisiana Fisheries Forward/Louisiana Sea Grant’s “Fishing Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency.”

State Permitted Fishermen (vessel is NOT federally permitted):

NH commercial fishing licenses allow the harvester to sell their own catch to whomever they would like. No other licenses are required; however, all sales must be reported.

Most NH fishermen sell to a major dealer or process through a major dealer who does the reporting. If selling directly off-the-boat without going through a dealer, NH fishermen need to report all sales themselves on paper or through the electronic dealer reporting system. Fishermen indicate their intent to sell directly on their license application. If they did not already indicate on their application, they need to contact NH Fish and Game to get reporting materials.


Federally Permitted Vessels:

All federally permitted vessels are required to sell their entire catch to a federally permitted dealer. To facilitate dockside sales, fishermen can apply for their own federal dealer permit online, here: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/new-england-mid-atlantic/resources-fishing/vessel-and-dealer-permitting-greater-atlantic-region. Dealers have mandated electronic weekly reporting. All sales get reported through the SAFIS electronic dealer reporting program. NOAA will set up the necessary account. If the harvester is the one making the sales, there is no other license required.


Can someone else help sell off-the-boat or dockside?

In either scenario (state or federal license), if fishermen are landing the product then having someone else sell to the public, that sales person or business needs both a wholesale marine species license and (if selling lobster or crab) needs a retail lobster and crab license. The sales person could be the person that gets the federal dealer permit and be the “dealer” for state reporting.


Reporting is critical!

It will be critical with any federal assistance (CARES Act, etc.) that harvesters have and continue to be compliant with reporting all trips and transactions.


For more information, contact NH Fish and Game:

Renee Zobel
renee.zobel@wildlife.nh.gov

 

icon of a fish cartoon in an orange backgroundConducting Direct Seafood Sales

If you or your crew are participating in directly selling your seafood to consumers, review these suggested Best Handling Practices. Downloadable/printable PDF versions of this information are available above.

Remember: proper precautions are very important for crew and customer health and safety!

Wash hands frequently.

Wear gloves. Minimize barehanded contact with bags and food containers. Change gloves often (if possible, after every pick-up or drop-off). Always dispose of gloves in the trash.

Use a facemask. Make sure it covers both your nose and mouth to be effective.

Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces like tables, plastic crates, and containers.


Credits: Information adapted and modified from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Louisiana Fisheries Forward/Louisiana Sea Grant’s “Fishing Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency.”

Ask customers ahead of time if they have any symptoms or are ill. If they are sick, ask them to send someone else to pick up their order.

Ask customers to bring their own sanitized coolers or containers.

Wear gloves and a facemask. If possible, wash/sanitize hands and change gloves after every pick-up. Dipose of gloves in the trash.

Stagger pick-ups to avoid large groups. Only one customer at a time is preferable.

Practice social/physical distancing at all times, keeping at least 6 feet apart from others.

Customers can place their coolers on the ground with payment (or even better, in the trunk of their car) and you ALONE handle and load the seafood.

Consider using an online payment service (Venmo, Paypal, etc.) instead of cash or check.


Credits: Information adapted and modified from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Louisiana Fisheries Forward/Louisiana Sea Grant’s “Fishing Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency.”

Ask customer to leave a sanitized cooler outside.

Ask customer to leave payment in the cooler if payment hasn’t occurred online (Venmo, Paypal, etc.).

Delivery person should wear gloves and a facemask. Wash/sanitize hands after every delivery. Dispose of gloves in the trash.


Credits: Information adapted and modified from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Louisiana Fisheries Forward/Louisiana Sea Grant’s “Fishing Fishing Safety & Information During Public Health Emergency.”

 

icon of a map location cartoon on a gray backgroundLocal Seafood Finder in NH

Where can you buy local seafood in NH right now? Use NH Sea Grant and UNH Extension's Local Seafood Finder and interactive map! Access available product details, addresses, contact information, and COVID-19 safety precautions being exercised by NH's fishing and aquaculture community at storefronts, home delivery, and off-the-boat sales. View NH's Local Seafood Finder here » 



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