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COVID-19 reveals vulnerability of small-scale fisheries to global market systems: researchers by Christopher J Knight, Theresa L U Burnham, Elizabeth J Mansfield, Larry B Crowder, Fiorenza Micheli June 29,2020   |  Source: The Lancet

Seafood consumption provides nutrients linked to reductions in malnutrition and disease for nearly half the global population.

Almost half of the world’s seafood comes from small-scale fisheries (SSFs), which also employ 90% of the world’s fishers and provide crucial food and livelihoods in coastal communities globally. This important industry virtually collapsed in January, 2020, as the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
shuttered one of the world’s largest seafood markets, China. The closure of a single dominant market highlighted the growing vulnerability of SSFs to global market shocks, as many such fisheries increasingly rely on a limited number of foreign buyers rather than less lucrative domestic markets.

Furthermore, local management strategies available to SSFs can be effective at maintaining local fishing stocks but are incapable of ensuring the stability of a globalised market. For example, despite a wide-range of resilience strategies for spiny
lobster fisheries worldwide, the global market for spiny lobster—valued at US $912 million in China alone halted before the WHO declared COVID-19 a public emergency. This
halt occurred because China imports 90% of global spiny lobster catch, a trend shared by many other high-value fisheries, including abalone


© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license

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