“Fresh fish aisles are over in France, it’s finished”

Major salmon importer in locked-in France senses trouble as delivery structure may not be up to the task.

Based in Boulogne Sur Mer, Direct Océan is a major specialist of fresh and frozen salmon in France.

Direct Océan Managing Director Sébastien Roussel told SalmonBusiness that up to date they didn’t have a problem in getting Norwegian and Scottish salmon to France.

“Since today, fresh fish aisles are over in France, it finished. Now it’s all wrapped in supermarkets – deliveries are limited,” he said.

He explained that time will tell what new structure will look like, with every single restaurant closed down, and the large volume of Polish smoked salmon still getting into French supermarkets.

French citizens are effectively banished to their homes, as Macron ordered a total lockdown. Strict measures prohibit all movements outside the home except for one shopping trip each day with police and the army enforcing the rules.

Roussel added that before the crisis, delivery services were at 5 per cent in the country and even then it was stretched. “Tomorrow could be a 95 per cent increase, we don’t have the trucks or the capacity in France”.

He said that the company’s activity was down 40 per cent.

“Processors had ridden a huge wave of consumption of salmon, loads were bought, the processors are working hard at it, but we don’t know how long it can last, it’s very difficult,” added the Managing Director.