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In recent weeks, the fishers we work with have shared with us that the sudden closure of restaurants, markets and the reduction in exports have led to an unprecedented drop in the demand for fresh seafood. Prices have plummeted and many small-scale fishers are forced to stay in harbor. A health crisis which will soon become a socio-economic crisis.
Like many other key economic activities in the Mediterranean, the fishery sector is severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: the demand for fresh fish as well as selling prices have collapsed in some countries.
In the map below, we are monitoring how the pandemic is impacting fishing activities and markets – from the rules to access local markets, closure of restaurants to fishers' livelihoods – and the restrictions that Mediterranean countries have adopted, such as limits or bans to some fishing activities. We also report on the innovative solutions being put in place (online platforms and apps) to encourage consumers to buy local fresh seafood directly from the fishers.
As the response to the pandemic evolves day-by-day, we will provide live updates from the field on how small-scale fishers are coping with the crisis.
Stay posted #Covid19 #SmallScaleFisheriesFuture
Click on the country and read the most recent updates on local fisheries
Last update of the map: July 2020
As WWF, we continue our work with small-scale fishers across the Mediterranean helping them increase their roles and responsibilities in the management of fisheries, and in accessing local – and sometimes new – markets.
At the same time, this crisis represents an opportunity to put in place concrete national, regional and EU measures to accelerate the long overdue recovery of our fish stocks and support the transition towards a more sustainable and modern way of fishing across the Mediterranean.
We aim to restore fish stocks and improve small-scale fishers' livelihoods by enabling them to carry out sustainable practices.
Bluefin tuna are one of the most important fish in the Mediterranean. But overfishing pushed them to the brink of extinction just a few years ago.