The global COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact across the globe and on all segments of the population.
The effects on Pacific Island countries and territories have been extremely varied: Some countries have had to manage viral infections while others are so far managing to keep the virus entirely from their shores.
In all cases the national responses have many potential implications for coastal communities, but these need better understanding if international and government responses are to be most effective and suit the circumstances of different villages and countries.
As a response, the Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) Network and partners, including WorldFish, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), developed a survey tool to gain rapid insights into changes occurring in villages and their fisheries and LMMA is sharing the survey regionally to assist national responses.
The survey was designed to be easily administered over the telephone or social media and provide the most important feedback quickly. This was a proposed first step to inform other more elaborate surveys or emergency responses.
Initial impressions from the surveys report:
- There is net immigration to villages, which is placing pressure on food production, particularly agriculture, but also fishing
- Prices of store-bought food have increased in a significant proportion of villages and there are signs of potential challenges to food security
- Fisheries management is likely to come under increased pressure and should be reinforced if fisheries are to play a part in ensuring protein supplies
Please see related reports on the country-level efforts: