All pain and no gain: Factors impacting local and regional sustainability due to COVID-19 pandemic with respect to the Indian marine fisheries

Publication Type:

Journal Articles

Source:

Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 3, p.100086 (2021)

URL:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666049021000621

Keywords:

Covid-19, Indian fisheries, Lockdown, Marine fishery, SDG 14, Supply Chain

Abstract:

Monitoring frameworks under a non-disaster scenario can be helpful to identify the various socio-technical constraints of local and regional origin which influence the economics and resources management of marine fisheries. However, local-scale manifestations of regional/global changes due to the rapid onset of a disaster scenario may lead to unprecedented distortion of the market demand-supply value chains for the fisheries sector at shorter temporal scales. The global pandemic of COronaVIrus Disease (COVID-19) provided a unique short, temporal window to study the evolution of socio-economic challenges to sustainable fishing in the Bay of Bengal (BoB), India. The present study provides a detailed multi-source assessment of the factors that lead to massive complications of market disruption beginning with a public curfew on 22nd March 2020, followed by a nationwide complete lockdown of 54 days beginning from 25th March 2020, indicating an “all-pain no-gain” scenario for the fishers. Aggravating factors as a cessation of food services, and the restriction of exports of perishable commodities indicated negative spin-offs for allied activities sectors such as food processing due to low or negligible demand. The present investigation also indicated that as part of rehabilitation, policies related to overfishing are necessary to promote sustainable fishing practices in the BoB region in a post-pandemic period. New policy frameworks must consider the community-centric factors which facilitated the alleviation of the impacts of anthropogenic activities related to fishing and the slow restoration of the demand-supply chain, with long-term benefits for natural resources sustenance and to aid marine conservation efforts.