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How COVID affected markets and livelihoods in Kenya's fisheries sector by Mbaru Emmanuel & Jacqueline Lau & Sarah Ruth Sutcliffe January 14,2022   |  Source: The Conversation

Fisheries support the livelihoods and well-being of millions of people around the world. Before the COVID pandemic, global fisheries production had reached a record high . Fast forward to 2021, and the pandemic has greatly altered the fisheries sector – increasing vulnerability and exposing weaknesses in fisheries food systems at both local and international levels.

The Kenyan coastal fishery supports more than 23,000 fishers catching over 16,000 tonnes of fish annually . The fishery is considered a key sector, providing monetary income and animal protein to about 70% of the coastal communities.

In our recent study , we set out to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Kenyan fisheries, and hear what fishers and traders did to cope. We interviewed people in five coastal communities to find out about COVID-19 impacts on markets, livelihoods, food security and well-being, and what they did in response.

We found fishers, fish traders and coastal communities faced severe livelihood and food security challenges as a result of the pandemic. The biggest impact came from the restrictions on movement mandated by the Kenyan government. Our findings highlight the severe effects pandemic measures had on households and communities, and offer lessons as the pandemic continues to

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