Asian Fisheries Society

E-Newsletter June 2020
04 Aug, 2020


The world is going through difficult times, not seen in the last century with the havoc COVID-19 pandemic is creating. Besides economic, social and health concerns, it is also leading to food, nutritional and livelihood insecurity of populations especially in the developing world. The pandemic has impacted on the whole chain - from aquaculture/fishing production to processing, transport, wholesale /retail marketing, employment and livelihoods. Fish being one of the cheap sources of animal protein in most low-income developing countries, is affecting the protein intake of populations. According to Global Fishing Watch, global industrial fishing activity declined by 6.5% by end of April 2020 as compared to corresponding period of the previous year which will impact the livelihood of millions of people involved in the sector. Fishers, both from marine and inland waters are facing problems in taking their produce to consumers due to lock downs/restrictions being implemented in many countries that affect the transport sector and slowing demand due to closure of markets, restaurants, etc. Due to slowing demand and lack of transport, aquaculture farmers are forced to maintain large quantities of fish in live condition which results in increased cost of production. Added to this, they are facing problems in accessing inputs such as seed, feed, medicines, ice, etc. Fish being the most internationally traded food commodity providing much needed foreign exchange to some of the developing countries and the lock downs/restrictions have resulted in decline in exports of fish and fish products and consequently production of high value species.

Women who constitute major work force in the sector, mostly involved in harvesting, processing and marketing are losing their livelihood which will have an impact on the household relations and children nutrition. Since the pandemic is going to continue for some time, research needs to be undertaken on how to minimise the impact on low-income households.

With the pandemic going to stay till vaccines are developed and made available to people – which is going to take some time, we need to learn how to live with the virus and keep ourselves safe.

M.V. Gupta

e-Newsletter June 2020