The COVID-19 Pandemic, Small-Scale Fisheries and Coastal Fishing Communities

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread around the world with extensive social and economic effects. This editorial focuses specifically on the implications of the pandemic for small-scale fishers, including marketing and processing aspects of the sector, and coastal fishing communities, drawing from news and reports from around the world. Negative consequences to date have included complete shut-downs of some fisheries, knock-on economic effects from market disruptions, increased health risks for fishers, processors and communities, additional implications for marginalized groups, exacerbated vulnerabilities to other social and environmental stressors, and increased Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. Though much of the news is dire, there have been some positive outcomes such as food sharing, the revival of local food networks, increases in local sales through direct marketing and deliveries, collective actions to safeguard rights, collaborations between communities and governments, and reduced fishing pressure in some places. While the crisis is still unfolding, there is an urgent need to coordinate, plan and implement effective short- and long-term responses. Thus, we urge governments, development organizations, NGOs, donors, the private sector, and researchers to rapidly mobilize in support of small-scale fishers, coastal fishing communities, and associated civil society organizations, and suggest actions that can be taken by each to help these groups respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bennett, NJ; Finkbeiner, EM; Ban, NC; Belhabib, D; Jupiter, SD; Kittinger, JN; Mangubhai, S; Scholtens, J; Gill, D; Christie, P

Published Date

  • July 3, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 48 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 336 - 347

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1521-0421

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0892-0753

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/08920753.2020.1766937

Citation Source

  • Scopus