8 Jun 2020 - How has COVID-19 affected the ocean economy? On World Ocean Day UNDP's Andrew Hudson examines the Covid-driven changes to fisheries, aquaculture, shipping & tourism and UNDP's support.
The dramatic global economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 is having pervasive effects not only on jobs, economies and governments but also on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In the near term, the impacts of COVID-19 on the health of the ocean have largely been positive due to the reduction in various sectoral pressures that lead to pollution, overfishing, habitat loss/conversion, invasive species introductions and the impacts of climate change on the ocean. While the ocean may enjoy some near-term benefits, the livelihoods and food security of tens or even hundreds of millions of people may be seriously affected.
There is already evidence that significant slowdowns are occurring in fisheries, shipping, coastal tourism, coastal development, and oil and gas extraction. In a recent informal poll conducted by the Economist during one of its World Ocean Initiative webinars, participants ranked the following ocean sectors as impacted most by COVID-19: tourism 70.7 percent, fisheries 10.4 percent, offshore oil and gas 7.2 percent, shipping 6.2 percent, offshore renewables 2.9 percent and aquaculture 2.6 percent.
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