Oyster farmers are facing a downturn as the coronavirus is keeping customers away from restaurants.
Warming waters is the time of year they like to grow–many are already at the 3-to-4 inch point that many eateries prefer.
This is also the time of year to buy and plant seed oysters that will grow into edible shellfish in one or two years’ time.
Direct sales is helping local crab processors, who are adjusting to the closing of eateries, and losing out on the visa lottery for the immigrants to help pick crab.
While folks still want to buy and cook their own crabs, sales to supermarkets, especially in Norfolk and Virginia Beach has been slow as many are focusing on non-perishable items instead.
In Maryland, early April crab prices are ranging around $90 a bushel, well below the $150 to $180 range typical for this time of year.