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COVID-Related Publications and Resources
The voice of Mexican small-scale fishers in times of COVID-19: Impacts, responses, and digital divide
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically, quickly, and extensively affected fisheries, the effects of which have yet to be quantified globally, although some efforts have already been made locally and regionally. This study provides insights regarding the impacts of the pandemic in Mexican small-scale fisheries, explores community responses and digital divide. A total of 1493 interviews were conducted, and a social media analysis that reviewed 9079 posts from April to December 2020 was performed. The results show large socio-economic and environmental impacts (e.g. 89% of the markets closed in April, and 72% of respondents perceived an increase in the amount of solid waste). Women have faced increased inequalities when accessing fishing resources or healthcare. Responses have been varied and include closing communities, and fishing organizations distributing emergency funds. Fishers relate feeling very or moderately comfortable with technology and have spent more time using digital platforms during the pandemic than before. While the effects are still unfolding, there is an urgent need to breach the digital divide to guarantee equal opportunities for all. Efforts are needed to ensure that the most vulnerable groups (e.g. women, indigenous people, and elderly individuals) are not excluded from opportunities to access, use or manage resources, including technology. This global crisis may also bring opportunities for adaptation and the implementation of local solutions (e.g. reducing the fishing effort for high-value products), to prepare for future shocks. The findings in this study serve to promote development strategies that build resilience in fishing communities for healthier oceans.
COVID-19 and small-scale fisheries in Southeast Asia: Impacts and responses
This paper describes the impacts of and responses to COVID-19 of small-scale fisheries in six selected countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The paper used a structured case study approach to analyse the impacts and responses and relied heavily on existing reports and data sources in each country. The pandemic has further revealed the vulnerability of small-scale fishing households in the region. Given the few assets of fisher households, their ability to cushion the negative impact of crises and shocks is limited. Fishers made adaptive responses such as direct fish marketing, online marketing, and home delivery services. While short-term responses of providing food and financial assistance have been helpful, long-term support to address pandemics such as COVID-19 and other stressors will require developing more resilient fishing households. The paper recommends several approaches and interventions to improve household resilience and to be better prepared for similar challenges and threats in the future. These include: i) strengthening the fishing households’ social network of friends, relatives, and neighbours to serve as both a social safety net and a bridge towards the transition to financial inclusion; ii) diversifying livelihood to reduce dependency on the fishery and provide for additional sources of income and food; iii) promoting financial inclusion through savings, credit, digital payment products, and insurance; iv) value chain upgrading through post-harvest fish handling and processing methods; and, v) providing access, especially for women, to social protection measures such as government health insurance and social security.
The environmental impacts of COVID-19: Perspectives from fishing communities
https://cobi.org.mx/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/COBI_Covid19-impacto-ambiental-16nov20.pdf (Spanish version)
The global crisis caused by COVID-19 has resulted in great challenges to the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. Worldwide, attention towards social (with an emphasis on health) and economic issues, has left environmental issues in second place. In Mexico for example, since March 2020, essential activities such as food production, health (pharmacies, hospitals) and public security have been prioritized . With the gradual re-opening of services and the return to activities, it has been sought, above all, to satisfy the basic needs of the population and reactivate the economy. However, the general strategies for the new normal in Mexico need to integrate environmental issues (e.g. adaptation to climate change, sustainable practices) and challenges arising from the pandemic (e.g. solid waste and contaminants).
Everything changes: Local solutions of small-scale fishers for adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic
Small-scale fishing communities have always been vulnerable to global shocks and changes. Because of this, fishers are flexible and make daily decisions to adapt, using their experience and the available information. They can switch from one fishery to another, create new fishing techniques, and find new markets quickly. There used to be one constant, no matter what they had to adapt to, fishers would go to fish.
African small-scale fisheries in the time of COVID-19: Voices from the continent
Recording of panel presentations, featuring guest speakers Editrudith Lukanga (Tanzania) and Kafayat Fakoya (Nigeria), and moderator Moenieba Isaacs (South Africa).
Fisheries, aquaculture and COVID-19: Issues and policy responses
Fisheries and aquaculture provide nutritious food for hundreds of millions of people around the world and livelihoods for over 10% of the world’s population. All aspects of fish supply chains are strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with jobs, incomes and food security at risk. Government and industry responses are needed to address the immediate economic and social hardships that the crisis is provoking in the fish sector. Governments also need to maintain long-term ambitions for protecting natural resources and ecosystems, and the viability of fisheries.Economic, equity and environmental considerations all point to similar best practices: supporting the incomes of those most in need rather than subsidising inputs or fishing effort, and ensuring that evidence-based management remains in place and is enforced. Transparency in policy responses will help build trust in the future of fish value chains and markets, and enable learning from the crisis to improve the sustainability and resilience of fisheries and aquaculture.
Women set to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic
A report released by Natalia Briceño-Lagos and Marie Christine Monfort, from the international organisation for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI), states that : "at this point of the pandemic, though we can't fully depict what the consequences will be on both genders, we can ascertain that the coronavirus outbreak will hit women harder than men, threaten progress made in empowering women and will deepen gender inequities already pervasive in this economic sector.
How is COVID-19 affecting the fisheries and aquaculture food systems
The full range of activities required to deliver fish and fish products from production to the final consumer is subject to indirect impacts of the pandemic through new sanitary measures, changing consumer demands, market access or logistical problems related to transportation and border restrictions. This in turn has a damaging effect on fishers and fish farmers' livelihoods, as well as on food security and nutrition for populations that rely heavily on fish for animal protein and essential micronutrients.
Fish chain interrupted: How COVID-19 affects markets and trade
More news about how COVID-19 disrupts the fishing way of life keep emerging. Various responses across the globe have also been discussed, with some governments considering fisheries as an essential service and allowing fishers to continue fishing. In other places, fishing has been suspended. Meanwhile, markets and fish trades are being affected in the most varied ways, including complete shutdown in some cases due to lack of fish or health and safety concerns.