Fishing markets impacted by new restaurant guidelines

Posted at 8:19 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 09:51:47-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — A local family-owned fishing business is feeling the economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This comes after Governor Ron DeSantis’ implemented guidelines on Florida restaurants to prevent the spread of the virus.

One of the owners of 'Erickson and Jensen' says these changes have not impacted the prices of their shrimp, but it has impacted their actual sales.

'Erickson and Jensen' has been a family-run shrimp business since the 1950s.


“Well we’ve been doing this for a long time, my family is multi-generational, we’ve always been fisherman,” said Grant Erickson.

Their main crop has always been Key West Pink Shrimp.

“We have stuck with it and stayed with it and it’s a very healthy crop that we work with,” said Erickson.

But now, with new guidelines in place for restaurants in Florida, 'Erickson and Jensen' has been feeling the effects.

“It’s kind of taking out a big area in the market for us,” said Erickson.

'Erickson and Jensen' operates as retail and wholesale, selling to people and businesses that want to purchase fresh-caught shrimp.

“People are still eating, they’re just not doing it in restaurants like they did before,” said Erickson.

While they’ve seen their sales to restaurants go down, they have seen their sales to markets like Publix go up.

“We can see the change happening in that there is a heavier demand in retail than in the restaurant area,” said Erickson.

Erickson says thankfully the changes have not been too drastic but as the situation continues to evolve, they are continuing to hope for the best.

“It’s just business as usual, we’re still catching very well, the boats are doing excellent, the product is still coming and going through,” said Erickson.

Erickson says they are open to the public to purchase shrimp directly from their market located on Fort Myers Beach.