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Money set aside for Maryland fisheries

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 17:50:20-04

EASTERN SHORE, Md. — Maryland's seafood business contributes more than $4 billion to the state's economy.

Janson Ruth is the owner of Harris Seafood Company, crabs and oysters have been coming out of here since 1947.

Thousands of Marylanders are navigating uncharted territory. The government has set aside $300 million for the nations fisheries, Maryland will get 4.1 million of that.

Before the virus, Ruth would have 45 to 50 people running around here, but now it's empty.

Ruth isn't sure how much of that money will come his way, but he was able to secure a PPP loan for his employees. He had to lay off 28 workers because restaurants closed.

"I didn't realize how much our business catered to restaurants and restaurant specific," he said.

For seafood restaurants and packing houses, even when the economy is doing really well things can be tough. They don't need a virus to throw them off.

"We've been through hurricanes and oil spills and you know your dealing with daily wind storms, hurricanes and thunderstorms and stuff so this is totally unexpected," he explained.

This may have been unexpected with a lot of uncertainty, but there is one thing Ruth is certain about going forward.

"To get really lean, be efficient of what we do and get the most out of the employees we have to be working every day."