Interim Guidance for Temporary Seafood Processing and/or Retail Sale

COVID-19 Food Industry

The NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets released the following Interim Guidance for Temporary Seafood (Fish and Shellfish) Processing and/or Retail Sale in response to COVID-19 on March 23, 2020.

Fishing operations that sell off the boat to restaurants, directly and/or indirectly, and other food service operations, that hold a valid Federal and/or State, County or City license/permit, will be allowed, for a period of 2 weeks, beginning March 23, 2020, to sell and/or process seafood (fish and shellfish) directly to the end consumer, while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place. This allowance will be re-evaluated as necessary.

Restaurants looking to take advantage of this interim guidance can do so immediately but only if already permitted by their local health department. Restaurants do not need to contact the Department of Agriculture and Markets or the Department of Health for authorization or an inspection prior to operating under this guidance. Restaurants should contact their local health department permit issuing official if they have questions specific to their facility.

Note: Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to the extent practical, entities wishing to utilize this guidance should implement reasonable measures to increase social distancing and reduce the density of people congregated in any given area.

A federally licensed vessel fishing in federal waters (3-200 miles offshore) needs a “dealer permit” to sell fish directly to consumers. Licensed vessels fishing in state waters (0-3 miles) are already covered under the permits issued to them by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

To apply for a federal “dealer permit” click here: www.fisheries.noaa.gov/new-england-midatlantic/resources-fishing/greater-atlantic-region-forms-and-applications-summary